St. Vitus's Day

St. Vitus's Day

June 15
According to legend, St. Vitus was raised as a Christian by his nurse and his foster father. All three suffered persecution and were eventually put to death for their beliefs around 303, when Vitus was still a young boy. A chapel was later built in his honor at Ulm, Germany, and it was believed that anyone who danced before his shrine there on June 15, St. Vitus's Day, would be assured of good health in the coming year.
Whether the motions of the enthusiastic dancers resembled the symptoms of those suffering from any of the diseases known as chorea, or whether people who suffered from disorders of the nervous system were often miraculously cured at the shrine is not known for certain, but chorea is commonly referred to as "St. Vitus's dance" for the violent motions that accompany the disease. St. Vitus is the patron saint not only of those suffering from epilepsy and other disorders of the nervous system, but of actors and dancers as well.
SOURCES:
DaysCustFaith-1957, p. 145
OxYear-1999, p. 250
SaintFestCh-1904, p. 290