April 22

From the Prologue

During the time of the Alexandrian Patriarch John the Merciful, a young monk appeared who, as soon as he arrived, compiled a list of all the prostitutes in Alexandria. The mortification (asceticism) of this young monk was exceptional and unique. During the day he would offer himself for hire to do the most difficult jobs and at night, he would enter the houses of ill repute, gave the earned amount of money to some prostitute and close himself in the room with her the entire night. As soon as they were locked up, Vitalis would beg the woman to lie down and sleep and he would spend the entire night in a corner of the room in prayer to God for that sinner. Thus, he would save the woman from sinning at least one night. The second night, he would go to a second, the third night to a third and so on until he had visited them all, and then, he again returned to the one with whom he started. By his counseling, many of the sinners abandoned their sullied trade. Some of them married, others entered convents and still others turned to a respectable work and income. Vitalis forbid all of these women to reveal the reason why he was visiting them. Because of this, Vitalis became a scandal for all of Alexandria. The men began to scold him, spit upon him and to openly beat him on the streets. He bore all patiently, making known his good works to God and concealing them from men. When he died, everything about him became known. Many miracles of healing occurred over his grave. People from different places began to bring their sick to his grave. Spat upon by men, he was and remained glorified by the Omniscient God.



Vitalis, a monk, in a city large

With prayer in his heart, hurries to his labor,

And the sinful populace pretends to be just,

And scorn the monk and upon his head spat.

The monk wipes his face, endures and remains silent,

Does not respond, neither at anyone, become angry

Then, a certain young man and an aged pervert

Approached Vitalis and struck him.

And the young man, to him, said: shameless monk

How long will you torment our patience?

"Why did you strike me?," Vitalis said,

You will be struck - so that the entire city will assemble

And much time did not pass and the young man went insane

That, he judged the man of God without God.

And the youth howled; the entire city became frightened,

Vitalis, peacefully presented himself to God

Then, to the grave of the saint, the insane one came

And at the grave, for himself, found healing.

And the young man related the most recent tale

And to glorious Vitalis, he gave thanks.

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