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Vitalis of Gaza

Vitalis of Gaza
BornGaza, Egypt
Diedc. 625
Alexandria, Egypt
Venerated inOrthodox Church
Roman Catholic Church
FeastApril 22 (Orthodox Church)
January 11 (Catholic Church)
Patronageprostitutes, day-laborers

Saint Vitalis of Gaza (died c. 625 AD) is a hermit venerated as a saint in the Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church. He is the patron saint of prostitutes and day-laborers.


A monk of Gaza, he travelled to the city of Alexandria at the age of sixty. His legend states that after obtaining the name and address of every prostitute in the city, he hired himself out as a day laborer, and took his wage to one of these women at the end of the day. He then would teach her about her dignity and value as a woman and that she did not deserve to be used by men as an object of their lust.

This practice was condoned by the Church, and many prostitutes in the city abandoned their profession and became good wives and mothers.

Death and veneration

Vitalis was killed when a man, misunderstanding the nature of the monk's visit to a brothel, struck him on the head. Vitalis managed to return to his hut where he died. Apparently during his burial, former prostitutes came out to explain his works before processing with candles and lanterns as his body was brought to the grave.[1]

In the Eastern calendar, his feast day occurs on April 22, while the Catholic Church celebrates his feast on January 11.


  1. ^ Churchill, Leigh, The Birth of Europe, Paternoster Press, p. 180, 2001.

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