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Pope St. Felix III

Saint Felix III

Pope & Confessor

Felix was born in the fifth century to a Roman senatorial family. He was a widower before he became pope, and through one of his children he was a direct ancestor of Pope St. Gregory the Great. In the year of Our Lord 483, Felix was elected to succeed St. Simplicius on the Throne of Peter, at the height of the Eutychian heresy. Felix acted immediately to excommunicate some of the major figures involved. Unfortunately, one of these men, Peter Mongus, had managed to gain the favor of the eastern emperor, and Pope Felix’s excommunication of Peter and the resulting conflict with the emperor only prompted a new schism between East and West that would last for several decades. Felix also dictated the conditions under which former apostates in Africa, who had embraced Arianism during persecution by the heretical Vandals, could return to communion with the Church. Felix died in the year of Our Lord 492 after a reign of just under nine years. Pope St. Gregory the Great relates that Felix later appeared to Gregory’s aunt, St. Tarsilla, to call her into heaven. Felix is celebrated on March 1st in the modern calendar. In the traditional calendar, today’s feasts are moved to February 26th in leap years.

 

Traditional Roman Martyrology for February 25th (Read on the 26th in Leap Years)

IN Egypt, in the time of the emperor Maximian, the birthday of the holy martyrs Victorinus, Victor, Nicephorus, Claudian, Dioscorus, Serapion, and Papias, under the emperor Numerian. The first two, having borne with constancy torments of refined cruelty for the confession of the faith, were beheaded. Nicephorus, after having been laid on a heated grid-iron and on the fire, was hacked into small pieces. Claudian and Dioscorus were burned alive; Serapion and Papias were killed with the sword.

In Africa, the holy martyrs Donatus, Justus, Herena, and their companions.

At Rome, the birthday of pope St. Felix III, great-grandfather of St. Gregory the Great, who relates of him that he appeared to St. Tharsilla, his niece, and called her to the kingdom of heaven.

At Constantinople, St. Tharasius, bishop, a man of great erudition and piety, to whom is addressed an epistle of pope Adrian I, in defence of holy images.

At Nazianzus, St. Caesarius, whom his brother blessed Gregory the Theologian, says he saw among the hosts of the Blessed.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

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