Saint of the day:
Also known as: Guy, Veit, Vith, Vito
Patron Saint of Over Sleeping, sleeplessness, comedians, dancers, actors, against wild animals, storms, epilepsy,
bedwetting, Czech Republic, dog bites, snake bites, rheumatic chorea, dogs, coppersmiths, youth, and numerous cities
Saint Vitus' Story
According to legend, Saint Vitus converted to Christianity at the age of 12. Valerian, the administrator of Sicily, tried to dissuade him, but was unsuccessful. Many miracles were attributed to Saint Vitus, including the cure of Diocletian’s son.
Accused of sorcery, Saint Vitus was subjected to various tortures but was miraculously saved. He was eventually martyred in Lucania.
A great devotion to Vitus developed in Germany when his relics were moved to Saxony in 836. He is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers.
St. Vitus was born in Sicily and was the son of a Roman senator by the name of Hylas. Important in his life was his tutor, Modestus, and his nurse (or maid), Crescentia who were Christian and baptized him, bringing him into the faith when he was between the ages of 7 and 12. (There is, however, doubt as to their historicity and whether or not they were real people.) Depending on the version, either his father learned about his conversion and had the three arrested, or Valerian, the governor, heard about Vitus’ miracles and had him arrested on suspicion of sorcery. Once arrested, Vitus and his companions were tortured by scourging. Other tellings also have the three being thrown to lions, which did not harm them. And in some tellings of St. Vitus’ story, he was locked in a room by his father with a woman who tempted him towards impure acts, through which he prayed. Eventually, the three escaped. There are discrepancies of whether or not they went to Lucania and then Rome or to Naples. But most agree that Vitus was brought before the Emperor Diocletian after his miraculous healings began to be widely known. Once before the emperor, he drove out an evil spirit from the emperor’s son, but after he refused to make a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the pagan gods, was sentenced to death. He was thrown into a cauldron of molten lead, along with a rooster (part of the pagan ritual against sorcery), but exited unharmed. In some tellings, that’s when he was met by a lion that instead of attacking him, kissed his feet. During a storm, the three were able to escape from Rome and were guided by an angel to Lucania where they were martyred or died of the wounds they received in Rome around 303 A.D.
Prague, Czech Republic
Prague, Czech Republic
the Holy Trinity treasures
Saint Vitus Dance
An interesting note in the veneration of St. Vitus is that in the 16th century in Germany, there was a tradition that dancing around a statue of
St. Vitus would bring a year of good health. As the dances grew wilder, this lead to his association with Saint Vitus Dance (also known as chorea). It also lead to his patronage of dancers, comedians, and entertainers overall.