This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

January 11 -- St. Vitalis of Gaza

Vitalis was a seventh century monk and hermit who left the wilderness of Gaza to go to the teeming, corrupt metropolis of Alexandria. He was sixty years old at the time, but suddenly felt a strong vocation for a peculiar form of missionary work.

He'd find work as a day laborer and then spend all his wages on a prostitute in the evening. Shocking, I know, but it is less so than it sounds. He'd hire the companion with the stipulation that she spend the whole evening with him and that they NOT have sex. If she was willing, he talked about God's mercy, forgiveness of sins, and salvation. He also stipulated that she NOT discuss what had happened after they parted the following morning. I have to admire his indifference to reputation as he sought to save these women.

Naturally he was in for some gossip. Who was this hard-working old man that spent all his money on hookers? Why was he with a different woman every night? Some said he had hired every prostitute in the city. Apparently the local leaders of the Church knew what he was doing and approved, but no one made his secret mission public, which is what undid him in the end.

He was leaving a brothel one morning. A brief misunderstanding of some kind with another man led to a sound clout on Vitalis' head. He made it back to his home, but collapsed there and died. If I were making this up (and I guess I am making up this part of it), I'd have the angry assailant extracting revenge for the salvation of the man's preferred whore. He'd either be a pimp who lost his top earner or a john who would never again exploit his favorite hooker.


  1. Perhaps a college roommate who claims he is out until the wee hours of morning on a school night will someday become St. Whoever. Hmmmm -

    1. , you will bee judged for your judgment of the holy saint! You think you can just get away with your snarky words like that?? it says, that we will be judged by our words and actins! Ask this saint to pray for you instead of assuming false things about this saint man!!!

  2. St Vitalis thanks for your help in this mad world.