d.303?. Martyr. He is said to have been born of pagan parents in Lucania, S Italy, and secretly brought up as a Christian by his nurse Crescentio and her husband Modestus. All three were martyred in Diocletian's* persecution. He is invoked against sudden death, hydrophobia, and the convulsive disorder known as chorea or “St. Vitus' Dance.” His cult spread in the , especially among Germans and Slavs. He is sometimes regarded as the patron saint of comedians and actors.