Our Holy Father,
the Monk Vitali
May 5 th (April 22nd Old Calendar)
In the time of Patriarch John the Merciful, a young monk appeared in Alexandria, who, as soon as he arrived, compiled a list of all the prostitutes in the city. His way of asceticism was exceptional and singular. During the day he hired himself out for the heaviest work, and at night he went into the brothels, gave the money he had earned to some prostitute and shut himself in her room with her for the whole night. As soon as he had shut the door, Vitali begged the woman to lie down and sleep, while he spent the entire night in a corner of the room in prayer to God for that sinner. So he kept the sinner from sinning even for one night. The second night he would go to another, the third to another, and so on in order until he had gone through them all, then he went back to the one with whom he had started. By his counsel, many of these sinners left their foul calling; some married, others went to a monastery and others began some honest work for payment.
All these women were forbidden by Vitali to say why he had come to them. As a result, he became a scandal to the whole of Alexandria. People reviled him in the streets, spat on him and beat him. But he bore it all patiently, revealing his good works to the Lord but concealing them from men. When he died, all became known about him. There began to be many miraculous hearings over his grave; people came from various places, bringing their sick to it. Spat on by men, he was and is glorified by the all-seeing God.
Holy Protection Russian Orthodox Church
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