Saint Vitalian of Capua

detail of an antique Italian holy card depicting Saint Vitalian being sewn into a leather bag; date and artist unknown; swiped from Santi e BeatiAlso known as

  • Vitalian of Caudium
  • Vitalian of Montesarchio
  • Vitaliano of…



Reluctant 7th century bishop of Caudium (in modern Montesarchio), Campania, Italy.

The earliest written record we have of his life is a 12th century manuscript found in the church library in Benevento, Italy; its authenticity is questionable, but its story of one of the pivotal moments of the life Vitalian became very popular –

When chosen bishop by the people of the region, which the custom in those days, he was roundly abused by his enemies, including priests who had wanted the seat. He was accused of preaching chastity without practicing it, and being involved in debauchery. Vitalian denounced their lies, then packed up and left the city, intending to go to Rome, Italy and present himself for audience with the pope. His enemies followed him, captured him, tied him in a leather bag, and threw him into the Garigliano River to drown. He floated to the coast of Ostia, Italy where he was rescued from the bag by some fishermen, and emerged unharmed. He stayed along the coast several months, during which there was famine, drought and plague back in the city that had betrayed and abused him. Their misery ended only when Vitalian returned to them; his entry to the city caused the first rain in months. Known as a miracle worker during the time he remained there.

Later in life he retired to live as a hermit at Milarum near Caserta, Italy, and then to Montevergine where he is reputed to have built a chapel and oratory dedicated the Blessed Virgin Mary.




Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Vitalian of Capua“. CatholicSaints.Info. 23 May 2020. Web. 3 December 2021. <>