I recently came across a pick your own saint posting by Moneybags at A Catholic Life. So, being adventurous (and highly curious), I wrote and asked to have a saint pick me.
Saint Vitus, I think we’re going to be chummy for the next few months of this year and happily ever after. I’m not entirely sure just why you picked me, but I admit, the mystery makes you more alluring!
Here’s the scoop from the Patron Saints index:
Legend says Vitus was the son of a pagan Sicilian senator named Hylas. Converted to Christianity at age twelve by his tutor Saint Modestus and his nurse Saint Crescentia. His father showed his objection by having the three arrested and scourged. Freed from prison by angels, they fled to Lucania, then Rome. There he freed Emperor Diocletian’s son of an evil spirit. When Vitus would not sacrifice to the pagan gods in celebration, his cure was attributed to sorcery, and he and his household were arrested again. Tortured, and condemned to death, they were
thrown to the lions; the lions would not touch them, so they were thrown into boiling oil At the moment of their deaths, a immense storm destroyed several pagan temples in the region, hence the protection against stormy weather. One of the Fourteen Holy Helpers. For obscure reasons, some 16th century Germans
believed they could obtain a year’s good health by dancing before the statue of Saint Vitus on his feast day. This dancing developed almost into a mania, and was confused with chorea, the nervous condition later known as Saint Vitus’ Dance, the saint being invoked against it. His connection with such “dancing” led to his patronage of dancers, and later to entertainers in general and in particular. A rooster was thrown into the oil with him, sacrificed as part of the ritual against sorcery. A rooster became a symbol for Vitus, and its connection with early rising led to Vitus’s patronage and protection against oversleeping.
His feast day is coming up, on June 15. Take a look at this patronage list:
· against animal attacks
· against lightning
· against oversleeping
· against storms
· snake bites
So what speaks to me out of all of this information is two-fold:
- Patron of oversleeping: yep, guilty. Trying to do less of it, but…well maybe St. Vitus had his eye on me for that? And then, patron of comedians: OK, I thought I was just a smart-aleck. Hmm.
- Alright, on a more serious note, St. Vitus might be just the saint for me. I have felt of late that there are lions waiting for me, and I can’t help but chuckle at all these references to pagan temples. I’m going to have to do some discerning about this…because I was a big fan of this mythology stuff (Said I, “Who needs religion when you can have ritual; after all, isn’t that what religion is?” Ahh, silly goose, replied He, go to Mass and find out the answer!).
There must be some connection here, that’s for sure. I am going through all the google search results, and there are already some alarm, I mean dancing, bells going off…