Today is the Feast Day of St. Felix of Cantalice
(c. 1515 – d. 1587)
St. Felix of Cantalice was born to a pious peasant family in Italy. He grew up tending sheep and was hired out to work for a farmer at the age of nine, which he did for twenty years. He evidenced signs of holiness and spent his free time in prayer. He had a friend read him the lives of the saints from which he drew much inspiration. Felix eventually joined the Capuchin Franciscans and served in Rome as the Order’s official beggar. Although he could not read, and received no formal study, he had great influence over the Roman people because of his piety and the labors he undertook to convert even the most hardened sinners. Felix also encouraged those he met to lead greater lives of virtue, regardless if they were dignitaries or peasants. Men who lived scandalous lives retreated from his presence, lest he convict them of their sins. St. Felix’s special apostolate was among the children of the city to whom he gave religious instruction with childlike humility and simplicity. He was a contemporary and friend of St. Philip Neri, who declared Felix to be the Church’s greatest living saint. St. Felix served in this way for 42 years. He was beatified immediately after his death, becoming the first Capuchin Franciscan ever canonized. His body rests under an altar dedicated to him in the church of the Immaculate Conception in Rome. (Credit: MorningOffering.com)
St. Felix is usually represented in art as holding in his arms the Infant Jesus because of a vision he is said to have had, when the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and placed the Divine Child in his arms.
Felix is shown bearing the Infant Jesus in his arms because in bearing the burdens of the needy he had carried in his arms the poor Christ himself.
– Pope John Paul II
St. Felix of Cantalice, humble beggar, model of charity, pray for us.
Be not afraid! And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always. Holy Family pray for us. Amen.