Vitus, St

views updated Jun 11 2018

Vitus, St (d. c.300), Christian martyr, said to have been martyred during the reign of Diocletian. He was invoked against rabies and as the patron of those who suffered from epilepsy and certain nervous disorders, including St Vitus's dance. He is traditionally regarded as one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers. His feast day is 15 June.
St Vitus's dance an old-fashioned term for Sydenham's chorea, a neurological disorder in children characterized by jerky involuntary movements; it is so named because appealing to St Vitus was believed to alleviate the disease.

Vitus, Saint

views updated May 23 2018

Vitus, Saint (active 4th century) Italian martyr. Secretly raised as a Christian by his nurse, he was put to death during the persecutions of Diocletian. He is the patron saint of actors.

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Saint Vitus

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Saint Vitus