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Saint Vitaliano Bishop

1039

The few fragmentary records on St. Vitaliano’s life enable us to outline a reconstruction of the Saint’s biography. He was born in ancient Capua (today Santa Maria Capua Vetere) in the VIII century; he was appointed bishop of his city and he carried out his mission with great humility and devotion. Despite that, he was persecuted by some evil men, who plotted against him, accusing him of immorality, during a night celebration. After that,  St. Vitaliano left Capua, heading for Rome, still persecuted by his enemies. During his absence, Capua was hit by some famines, by disease and drought and the inhabitants understood that it was God’s punishment for the persecutions the Saint had undergone.  So, they tried to be forgiven; subsequently, St. Vitaliano came back to Capua and asked God a grace: to make it rain and, soon after, it started pouring down.

Then, he refused the episcopate to become a hermit, in a solitary place in ancient Caserta, called Miliarum (or maybe Maltanum) and he spent some years there, performing many miracles. In the last years of his life, the Saint retreated on Virgilio Mountain (Montevergine), where he died perhaps on the 16th July, in the first years of the VIII century. His shrine became a pilgrimage destination but, after the Saracen raids, the place was abandoned. Found by some shephards, it was then moved to Montevergine Monastery and, in 1120, brought to the Dome of Catanzaro, where the Saint is now the Protector.

Today, the devotion for the Saint is visible in the cities of Sparanise, Capua, in the Nolan area (see San Vitaliano town), in the province of Benevento and Avellino and, obviously, in Casola, one  of Casertavecchia’s districts.

Translation by Teacher Eleonora Mauriello