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Jun 15 – St Vitus (martyred c. 303) patron saint of dancing

15 June, 2012

St Vitus to be the son of a pagan Sicilian councilor who ended up being a Christian under the influence of his Christian guardian Modestus and his Christian nurse Crescentia and also suffered martyrdom along with them (See image). He is an example of how certain themes strangely become associated with the lives of saints.

Patrick Duffy tells what is known around the him and also how he became the patron of dancing.

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St Vitus’s DanceVitus is finest known as the saint to invoke because that those suffering from epilepsy and nervous diseases. St Vitus’s Dance – likewise called Sydenham’s chorea (= dance) and also Huntington’s chorea – is one of a collection of abnormal activity disorders known as diskinesias. The saint is also invoked for comparable diseases that come from the bites of foolish dogs and snakes. By transference that has also come to it is in the patron saint the dancers.

Legend that his martyrdom

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The heritage is the Vitus to be the son of a pagan Sicilian senator called Hylas. That was offered to a tutor referred to as Modestus and also a nurse dubbed Crescentia, who brought him up together a Christian. His father tried come re-convert him come paganism, however was unsuccessful and then had the three of castle arrested and scourged. They escaped to Lucania in mainland Italy and reached Rome. Right here Vitus cure the emperor Diocletian’s son, who endured from an evil spirit. However the healing was regarded as sorcery and all three came to be martyrs. That is not possible to say exactly how true any type of of this is.

The Gelasian Sacramentary and also dancing for healthHowever, through the 6th or seventh century, Vitus is associated with bodily health in one of the earliest version of the roman Misssal,

The Gelasian Sacramentary.

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By the 16th century Germans believed they might get a year’s good health by dancing before the statue the Saint Vitus on his feast day. This dancing developed nearly into a mania, and also was confused with the nervous disease with the saint gift invoked against it. Yet that link with together manic “dancing” led on come his patronage the dancers, and later the entertainers in general.

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Among the Fourteen holy HelpersSt Vitus is additionally grouped amongst the Fourteen holy Helpers – amongst them, Barbara, Blaise, Catherine the Alexandria, Christopher, George, and also others – that appreciated a cumulative cult in the Rhineland from the 14th century.