St. Vitalis of Gaza
Feastday: January 11
Monk. He served as a monk in Gaza, Israel, for many years and earned considerable controversy for his methods in reforming the local prostitutes and scandalous women. After his death, he was completely cleared of any possible impropriety or excessive zeal.
Saint Vitalis of Gaza (died ca. 625 AD) is venerated as a hermit-saint by the Catholic Church. A monk of Gaza, he travelled to the city of Alexandria at the age of sixty. His legend states that after obtaining the name and address of every prostitute in the city, he hired himself out as a day laborer, and took his wage to one of these women at the end of the day. He then would teach her about her dignity and value as a woman and that she did not deserve to be used by men as an object of their lust.
This practice was condoned by the Church, and many prostitutes in the city abandoned their profession and became good wives and mothers. Vitalis was killed when a man, misunderstanding the nature of Vitalis' visit to a brothel, struck him on the head. The monk managed to return to his hut and died there.