An anonymous California bidder bought the purported head of Roman Catholic St. Vitalis of Assisi.
The head of the 14th century hermit and the patron saint of genital and urinary diseases, was sold at auction to an anonymous California phone bidder for 5.000 USD on Sunday 29th of May.
Who is this saint?
This is from the Catholics own records:
Saint Vitalis of Assisi (Italian: San Vitale de Assisi) (1295 – May 31, 1370) was an Italian hermit and monk.
Assisi is honored in Roman Catholic Church Feast May 31 Patronage patron against sicknesses and diseases affecting the genitals.
Auctioneer Damien Matthews received 100 bids before the sale even started. It took less than a minute for the Californian buyer to seal the deal at USD 5,000.
Source: History blog
That the auctioned skull is the remains of Saint Vitalis, is a matter of dispute.
This is what the Irish Times has recorded:
Despite living an early life marked by immorality and corruption, he was beatified after his death in 1370.
Auctioneer Damian Matthews, who will put the macabre item under the hammer on Sunday, said while he cannot be certain it is the head of a saint, “it’s certainly ancient, and it’s certainly the head of someone”.
The auction takes place at Annesbrook House in Duleek.
Source: Irish Times
It is said that he wore only rags and shunned all material wealth, with the exception of a basket which he used to fetch water from a nearby stream. He died in 1370, and word of his sanctity soon spread due to reports of numerous miracles performed on those with bladder and genital disorders.
It is unclear exactly how his head may have ended up in Ireland.
The unknown origin of this head, only gave it a price tag of 5000 USD.
If the collectors had been able to know for sure that this is not the skull of a simple village idiot, I am sure many Catholics would have paid through their teeth to get this “holy item”.
There is an obvious problem with such “holy relics”:
What if the head was stolen, or is not of the religious Italian man at all?
Will there still be miracles available, for those who can put this skull on top of their cupboard?
Suppose the buyer is a Satanist, who will use it to play indoor football?
Will the skull than loose it’s power to create miracles?
Some collect snakes, other’s prefer skulls. People surely collect a lot of strange items.
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.
Written by Ivar