This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

January 14 -- Feast of Saint Felix

Felix and the Spider -- poor depiction of a Roman soldier
There are a lot of saints named Felix, but today is extra lucky.  There are two saints named Felix, one of whom is sort of an error for the other one, but since his story is more fun, I'm keeping both of them.  Just to be sure we are clear, the other Saints Felix who have been blogged here (better than being flogged here) are linked are linked at the end.

Felix of Nola, the third century son of a retired soldier, sold off his inheritance and pursued a vocation in the church.  His name means lucky, and I suppose he must have been to survive the persecution of Decius, especially since he was arrested and beaten.  An angel arranged his escape so he could help Bishop Maximus, his boss, who had fallen sick and was in danger of being arrested.  They hid in a derelict building.  After they went in, a spider built a web across the doorway, making the place appear undisturbed.  Soldiers saw the web and moved on without discovering the fugitive Christians. Felix was selected to succeed Maximus as bishop of Nola, but he declined, preferring instead to farm so he could feed the poor.

Beating Felix while Maximus is hunted
Just north of the seven hills of Rome is the Mons Pincius, (aka Monte Pincio, aka the Pincian Hill).  There stood a church that had been dedicated to Felix of Nola.  When the church fell to ruins, the memor of the dedication was lost, but the designation of the spot -- Felix in Pincio, or Felix on the Pincian -- remained.  Somehow, the legend of a Pincian Felix developed to the point where he too was once a recognized saint, celebrated on January 14.

Much of the story is lost, but in short, he was a priest and teacher whose students, after suffering his rigid discipline for as long as they could, rose in rebellion and stabbed him to death with their pens.  Magistri et magistrae: cavete discipulos et discipulas.  Caveant tyranni. 
Totally justified bonus feasture

May 18 is the feast of St. Felix of Cantalice, the Capuchin questor who was so popular that the church had to be remodeled to accommodate his funeral.  November 20 is the feast of St. Felix of Valois, a Cistercian monk dedicated to ransoming Christian slaves from Arab slave markets.  March 8 is the feast of St. Felix of Dunwich, who was also of Burgundy. December 14, 1919 was the date of the release of The Adventures of Felix, the third film featuring the cartoon cat, but the first in which he was so called.  [Prior to that, he was named Master Tom.]

1 comment:

  1. A strange coincidence just happened. I stopped at a used book store to pick up a copy of Fox's Book of Martyrs I'd had my eye on. Beside it was a copy of David Marshall Lang's Lives and Legends of the Georgian Saints. This morning (1/14/2012) I decided to read the first chapter: "Saint Nino and the Conversion of Georgia." It turns out that January 14 is the feast of Saint Nino. I know the odds are only 365.25:1, which is way better than PowerBall, but still...