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St. Felix of Cantalice

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Saint Felix of Cantalice


Felix was born in Cantalice to an Italian peasant family in the year of Our Lord 1515. He spent his early life as a shepherd and farmhand. After miraculously surviving an accident with a plow, he joined the Capuchin friars, and was eventually sent to a friary in Rome to serve as the quaestor, who was in charge of begging for the daily needs of the community. Felix spent the rest of his life in that city, and became renowned for his holiness. Though illiterate, he possessed great spiritual and theological wisdom, and was consulted by rich and poor alike. St. Philip Neri himself called Felix a living saint, and together they waged war on vice and degeneracy in the city. Felix also advised St. Charles Borromeo on matters of religious life. He composed songs for children that reinforced the Catholic faith, and was a great friend to all the poor. He was known as “Brother Deo Gratias” for his customary greeting. Despite his renown, Felix maintained great humility, and always referred to himself as “the donkey of the Capuchins.” All of Rome mourned his death in the year of Our Lord 1587, and he soon became the first canonized Capuchin friar.


Traditional Roman Martyrology for May 18th

AT Camerino, the holy martyr Venantius, who at fifteen years of age, with ten others, ended a glorious combat by being beheaded under the emperor Decius and the governor Antiochus.

In Egypt, St. Dioscorus, a lector, who was subjected by the governor to many various torments, such as the tearing off of his nails and the burning of his sides with torches; but a light from heaven having prostrated the executioners, the saint finally consummated his martyrdom by having red-hot metal applied to his body.

At Spoleto, St. Felix, a bishop, who obtained the palm of martyrdom under the emperor Maximian.

In Egypt, St. Potamon, bishop, a confessor under Maximian Galerius, and afterwards a martyr under the emperor Constantius, and the Arian governor Philagrius.

At Ancyra, in Galatia, the martyrs St. Theodotus, and the saintly virgins Thecusa, his aunt, Alexandra, Claudia, Faina, Euphrasia, Matrona, and Julitta. They were at first taken to a place of debauch, but the power of God having preserved them from evil, they had stones tied to their necks, and were plunged into a lake. For gathering their remains and burying them honorably, Theodotus was arrested by the governor, and after being horribly lacerated, was put to the sword, and thus received the crown of martyrdom.

At Upsal, in Sweden, St. Eric, king and martyr.

At Rome, St. Felix, confessor, of the Order of Capuchin Minorites, celebrated for his evangelical simplicity and charity. He was inscribed on the roll of Saints by the Sovereign Pontiff, Clement XI.

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

℟. Thanks be to God.

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