Commission Music

Commission Music
Bespoke Noise!!

Monday, 20 June 2011

The head of St Vitalis of Assisi

Alas, I've missed the auction of the head of St Vitalis of Assisi, which I guess is just as well as it was expected to go for at least £700. Still, I kind of feel like my entire life as an RC might have been heading for that purchase. I've gone on saint-head related pilgrimages and generally have a fascination with relics....

As I see it, the major problem with having a first class relic like this one is where to put it. St Vitalis is the patron saint of STIs and it doesn't seem fair to keep such an obviously useful saint to oneself. The owner of the head really ought to build a chapel for it. As I don't have any kind of space for such a construction, the head would be doubly beyond my means.

Indeed, as I live in a two room flat that's already a bit overly full of stuff, storing the head until I could build a chapel would present a major problem.

I really don't want a holy relic on display in my bedroom. A skull of any saint looking down on my bed would be a bit of a mood killer. I can't decide if this particular saint would be better worse than other saints. On the one hand, he is kind of appropriate, if you don't mind his dead, judging eye sockets. But on the other hand, do I want to send the message to overnight visitors that supernatural help is required in addition to the normal precautions?

I think he could also be distracting in the living room. Alas, I don't even have room for him in my living room. It's already stuffed to the gills with rather too much furniture, two tubas, a bass amp and a synthesiser. I have no idea where I could even find space for a head.

He may have died in 1370, but the kitchen seems unhygenic even for a very old and holy skull. And the bathroom is humid, which might lead to corruption of the sort saints are supposed to be spared. A mouldy relic would not be very nice.

This leaves the toilet, which in some ways is the ideal space. I have unoccupied space on top of the cistern, where he could gaze down upon possibly afflicted areas as guests wee. It also gives the faithful a private place where they can take a moment to determine if the saint's prayers might be helpful before invoking them, and/or possibly calling their local GUM clinic. On the other hand, it does seem somewhat disrespectful to the saint to perch his head in a loo.

(American readers of the linked BBC article should note that in British English, an "outhouse" is a kind of a shed. In American English, an outhouse is a privy. So moving from an outbuilding to a toilet would be a reduction in his circumstances.)

Alas, I've been unable to discover ho bought the head, how much they paid or what their plans are. Do I want to know? I'm not sure.

No comments: