St. Vitalis is an early Christian martyr. Not much is certain
about his life or the date of his martyrdom. Some sources say it was the
time of Nero, while others claim that he suffered during the persecutions
of Marcus Aurelius in 171. One legend claims that he was a Bolognese gentleman
and husband to St. Valeria, who was martyred at Milan. They were both the
parents of St. Gervasius and St. Protasius.
Vitalis is said to have been revealed as being a Christian when he encouraged Saint Ursicinus of Ravenna to be steadfast at his execution. Vitalis was then racked and buried alive with stones.
There are churches dedicated in his honor at Rome, Faenza, Rimini, Como, Ferrara, Venice and Verona in Italy and Zadar in Dalmatia. The most famous is probably the Basilica of San Vitale at Ravenna, Italy. Vitalis’ feast day is April 28.
See: Vittore Carpaccio. Glory of St. Vitalis.