Catholic Saints

Saint Vitus

  • Short, concise biography of Saint Vitus
  • History, Life, Biography, Facts and Information about Saint Vitus
  • Fast, concise facts and information about Saint Vitus
  • What is Saint Vitus the patron of?
  • Date of Death
  • How Saint Vitus is represented in Christian Art
  • Feast Day

The Patron Saint Vitus

What is the definition and the meaning of the Patron Saints and why were these people chosen to become patrons of causes, professions and countries?

The term 'Patron' is used in Christian religions, including the Roman Catholic religion, to describe holy and virtuous men and women who are considered to be a defender of a specific group of people or of a country.

There is a patron for virtually every cause, country, profession or special interest. There are two categories of saints: martyrs and confessors. A martyr is one who is put to death for his Christian faith or convictions.

Fast, concise facts and information about Saint Vitus
The following provides fast and concise facts and information:

  • The patron of Dancers
  • Memorial Day / Feast Day: June 15th
  • Born: c. 290, Sicily
  • Date of Death: Saint Vitus died in A.D. 303
  • Cause of Death: Boiled in oil

Who or what is Saint Vitus the patron saint of?
Saint Vitus is the patron of Dancers. Meanings, definition and origins - a patron is considered to be a defender of a specific group of people or of a nation. There is a patron for virtually every cause, profession or special interest. Prayers are considered more likely to be answered by asking a patron for intercession on their behalf.

Prayer to St. Vitus - Patron Saint of Dancers

The Story and History of Saint Vitus
The story and history of Saint Vitus. Saint Vitus was born c. 290 in Sicily. Saint Vitus lived during the joint reigns of two Roman Emperors. The Roman Emperor Maximian, who was Roman Emperor for the Western Empire from 286 to 305 and Diocletian (r.284-305). who mounted some of the fiercest persecutions of the early Church especially in the East of the Roman Empire. This was an extremely dangerous time to adhere to the Christian faith due to persecutions of the Roman Emperors. Saint Vitus was the son of a Sicilian senator named Hylas. The family adhered to the Pagan Roman Gods but at the age of twelve Vitus converted to Christianity. His father was so furious that he had his son and his associates arrested and whipped. They were released and moved on to Rome. His links with Roman nobility gained Vitus access to the royal court of the Roman Emperor Diocletian. It is said that Vitus cured the son of the Emperor of evil spirits. A sacrifice to the Roman gods was planned in thanks for the cure. Vitus was unable to participate due his Christian beliefs and when this emerged he was accused of being a sorcerer and practising magic to effect the cure. He and his friends were arrested and condemned to death in the arena. Legend tells that the wild beasts and lions refused to attack Vitus and he was killed by the terrible fate of being boiled in oil.

Death of Saint Vitus
There are two categories of saints: martyrs and confessors. A Christian martyr is regarded as one who is put to death for his Christian faith or convictions. Confessors are people who died natural deaths. Date of Death: Saint Vitus died in A.D. 303. Cause of Death: Boiled in oil in Lucania, Italy. 

Saint Vitus Dance
Saint  Vitus is the patron of dancers, and particularly of those afflicted with the nervous disorder known as the Saint  Vitus Dance, because, as the legend tells us, when his father looked in upon him through the keyhole of the dungeon into which he had been cast for openly professing himself a Christian, he beheld him dancing with seven beautiful angels.

How Saint Vitus is represented in Christian Art
It is helpful to be able to recognise Saint Vitus in paintings, stained glass windows, illuminated manuscripts, architecture and other forms of Christian art. The artistic representations reflect the life or death of saints, or an aspect of life with which the person is most closely associated. Saint Vitus is represented in Christian Art with a cauldron of boiling oil, the instrument of his martyrdom. Sometimes, too, he has a lion beside him, in allusion to his exposure to lions in the amphitheatre; or a wolf, which is said to have kept faithful watch over his remains.  Another of his of his attributes is a cock, from his habit of early rising; hence he is often invoked by persons who are addicted to oversleeping themselves in the morning. In all cases he is represented as a very beautiful youth.

Feast Day of Saint Vitus
The Feast Day of Saint Vitus is June 15th. The origin of Feast Days: most saints have specially designated feast days and are associated with a specific day of the year and these are referred to as the saint's feast day. The feast days first arose from the very early Christian custom of the annual commemoration of martyrs on the dates of their deaths at the same time celebrating their birth into heaven.

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