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One Head, Slightly Used

Aug 162011
 By , August 16, 2011


This May the head of St. Vitalis of Assisi, the patron saint of genital disease, was sold at auction for about $5,000 (3,500 Euro).

This brings to mind several questions, chief among them would be, “Just how does one go about becoming the patron saint of the clap?” Well, according to the sources I could find:

“St Vitalis was born in Umbria, Italy, and is said to have lived an immoral and licentious youth.
In an attempt to atone for his early sins, he later undertook pilgrimages to shrines throughout Europe, eventually entering the Benedictine monastery at Subiaco.
After leaving the monastery, he lived the remainder of his life as a hermit near Assisi.
It is said that he wore only rags and shunned all material wealth, with the exception of a basket which he used to fetch water from a nearby stream.
He died in 1370, and word of his sanctity soon spread due to reports of numerous miracles performed on those with bladder and genital disorders.”

A basket being a woefully inefficient means of transporting water, perhaps he died of thirst. At any rate, it clears up how one becomes the patron saint of crotch rot. Upon further reflection though, I couldn’t help feeling I had seen old Saint V somewhere before…



Can’t quite put my finger on it though.

There is also the question of why anyone would pay $5,000 for a six hundred year old head, saintly or otherwise. For that matter, where would one keep such a reliquary? The kitchen or the dining area would seem to be out of the question. Quite apart from any sanitary considerations, it would tend to put one off one’s feed. While it might have a talismanic effect if kept in the bed chamber, a condom is more reliable and less likely to frighten away young women before matters even have a chance to get underway. Perhaps the living room on the mantelpiece, there the better to frighten away the odd door to door evangelist or salesman.

In a later interview the auctioneer stated that the relic was purchased by “a Hollywood actor”.

You don’t suppose…


Be seeing you.



Sources: BBC NewsIrish Central,




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The Town Scryer is a mixed bag of humor, socio-political observations and ephemera from the perspective of a eclectic Pagan veteran of the counter-culture. Philip Posehn's main blog is at The Town Scryer.

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