St. Vitalis of Assisi, whose feast day, May 31, fast approaches, was a Benedictine monk born in Umbria, Italy who lived from 1295-1370. Since he had led an apparently profligate youth before his reformation, and after his death was known for the ability to cure diseases of the genitalia and bladder, he has become known as the patron saint of venereal diseases.
Somehow, it appears that he was decapitated. Whether or not this was related to his death is not
easily determined. The location of his body has been lost in the mists of time. His head however, moved to Ireland. It has been discovered in an outbuilding belonging to a family from County Louth.
It is thought that the upper part of the saint made its way to the Emerald Isle, perhaps as a souvenir from a relative’s ‘Grand Tour of Europe‘.
While the goal of the Grand Tour was educational a great deal of time was spent in more frivolous pursuits such as extensive drinking, gambling, and intimate encounters. The journals and sketches that were supposed to be completed during the Tour were often left quite blank.
Upon their return to England, Tourists were supposedly ready to being the responsibilities of an aristocrat.
And as we all know, nothing says “I am an aristocrat” like a saint’s head in a box.
According to the BBC, what is known is that an ancient head has belonged to the family for many years. It sat in the hallway of the great house until it was eventually moved to an outbuilding. The local Benedictine’s declined to comment to the BBC, but the auctioneer lays it out “It’s certainly ancient, and it’s certainly the head of somebody.”
The auction will be held at Annesbrook House in Duleek, County Meath, on 29 May at 1500 BST. The head, holy or otherwise, is valued at between 800 and 1,200 euros
Should you be suffering from genital warts, bladder infections, or other diseases of the nether-regions, your salvation could be at hand.