Veltis is one of the Demons imprisoned by King Solomon in his brazen vessel.
Veltis is mentioned in the lore of the life of St. Margaret of Antioch, who was executed by beheading in Christian persecutions in 304. While in prison, Margaret prayed to have a face-to-face confrontation with the Devil. Upon arising from prayer, she saw a terrible dragon, which threatened to devour her. She made the sign of the cross and the dragon burst into flames.
Then, she saw a black man sitting with his hands bound to his knees. She took him by the hair and cast him to the ground, holding his head down with her foot. She prayed, and a light shone down from heaven, illuminating her cell. She saw in heaven the cross of Christ with a dove on it. The dove said, “Blessed art thou o Margaret, the gates of paradise attend thy coming.” Margaret demanded that the Demon give his name, and he asked her first to remove her foot from his head. She did, and he gave the name Veltis. He said that he and other Demons had been locked up in the brazen vessel. Babylonians found it and, thinking that it contained gold, smashed it and thus freed the Demons. Ever since, Veltis and the others have lain in wait to annoy the just. Reginald Scot, a skeptic about the powers of the Devil and Demons, dismissed the legend as a fiction, saying Margaret could not have possibly had the eyesight and hearing to perceive anything as far away as heaven. Surely, the Demons could have used their fiery nature and breath to melt the brazen vessel at any time. “The devils carry hell and hell fire about with them always; insomuch as (they say) they leave ashes evermore where they stand,” he noted.
Scot opined that anyone who burned a candle in the name of St. Margaret “shall never be the better, but three pence the worse.”
Further Reading :
- Scot, Reginald. The Discoverie of Witchcraft. 1886. Reprint, Yorkshire, England: E. P. Publishing, 1973