Felix Of Cantalice

The Humble Monk: Life and Works of Saint Felix of Cantalice

He was known as Brother Deo Gratias—a humble Capuchin friar, a ceaseless pray-er, a saint who communed with angels. His life is an inviting anecdote not only to the faithful but to anyone seeking a deeper understanding of themselves and their faith. This humble monk was Felix of Cantalice, an incarnation of humility and piety that touched many lives during his lifetime and beyond.

Who was Felix of Cantalice?

Born on May 18, 1515, in the town of Cantalice, Italy, Saint Felix was christened with the name Felice Porri. Raised by devoutly Catholic parents, the seeds of faith were planted early into his heart. He worked as a farm labourer in his youth until, at the age of 28, he felt a call to a religious life and joined the Capuchin friars as a lay brother.

Life as a Capuchin Friar

From the day he entered the Capuchin Order, Felix lived a life of prayer, penance, and profound humility. He was given the name "Brother Deo Gratias," meaning "Thanks be to God," a phrase he was heard uttering frequently. His chores included begging for alms and serving as questor for the friary at Orvieto, roles he dutifully performed for over four decades.

Understanding Felix of Cantalice requires looking more deeply at his actions and character. This humble friar's daily life mirrored the holy obedience, humble poverty, and perfect chastity embodied in the Capuchin Rule. His life was a testament to his love for God, the Church, and all humanity.

The Model of Christian Virtue

"Lord, may I be small in the eyes of men, but great in Your sight. Through the intercession of Felix of Cantalice, may I learn the path of humility and service. Amen."

His constant state of joy and serenity, even amidst hardship and suffering, led to numerous encounters with St. Philip Neri and St. Charles Borromeo. They were deeply impressed by his humility, charity, and simple faith. As such, through Felix's humble example, we are shown the fundamental virtues that can bring us closer to our own faith and spiritual journey.

Miracles and Mystical Incidents

Several miracles and mystical incidents are associated with Felix. One of the most reputed is when a child fell from a high terrace in the vicinity of the friary. The terrified mother found her child safe and unharmed, claiming to have been caught by the blessed Felix.

Indeed, Felix was associated with many such miraculous events, further fueling his reputation as a living saint. But he remained wholly indifferent to these miracles credited to him, always pointing instead to the power and glory of God.

Path to Canonization

Felix died on May 18, 1587, and was beatified in 1625 by Pope Urban VIII. He was canonized on May 22, 1712, by Pope Clement XI. Today, St. Felix of Cantalice is commemorated each year on May 18.

"Saint Felix of Cantalice, intercede for us. Help us to live a life of humility and simplicity, guided always by unwavering faith and trust in the Lord. Amen."

Lifelong Lessons From Felix of Cantalice

Felix's life stands as an exemplary tale of unwavering faith, holy obedience, extreme humility, and ceaseless charity. He serves as a beacon for all those who aspire to find God in their everyday lives, revealing Christ's face in every person they encounter.

Every prayer made, every step taken, every act of charity—these were the threads that wove the remarkable tapestry of Felix’s life. Such was his faith that even angels were said to help him in his tasks.

St. Felix of Cantalice: A Saint for Our Times

In a world often dominated by pride and self-importance, the story of St. Felix of Cantalice provides us with a different narrative—one of humility and consistent faith.

See also  Asteria Of Bergamo

Through his intercession, may we steer ourselves towards a life of humility, ceaseless prayer, and unwavering faith, and know that no task is too small, or any person too insignificant, in the eyes of God.

Story of Saint Felix | Stories of Saints | Episode 158

YouTube video

La vie de saint Félix de Cantalice, le frère mendiant des capucins de Rome (1515-1587)

YouTube video

San Félix de Cantalicio: El Burro de los Frailes

YouTube video

Who was Saint Felix of Cantalice and what is his significance in Catholicism?

Saint Felix of Cantalice, also known as Brother Deo Gratias, was an Italian friar and the first member of the Capuchin Order to be canonized. Born on May 18, 1515, in Cantalice, Italy, he became known for his intense piety, humility, and charity towards the poor.

As a young man, Felix worked as a farmer before joining the Capuchins in 1543. He lived a simple life, devoted to prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. He was not a priest, but served as a lay brother, dedicating his life to the care of the poor and sick.

In 1547, Felix was sent to Rome where he spent the next forty years walking the streets, begging for alms to support the friars and assist the needy. Despite his own poverty, he was always generous, often giving away his own food and clothing to those less fortunate. His cheerful demeanor earned him the nickname "Brother Deo Gratias," meaning "Thanks be to God," a phrase he was known to repeat frequently.

His spiritual insight and deep faith made him sought after as a counsellor, including by many of the leading figures of his day. Despite his lack of formal education, he was known for his wisdom and his ability to resolve disputes and conflicts.

After a life of service, Felix died on May 18, 1587. His holiness was recognized by the Church, and he was canonized on May 22, 1712, by Pope Clement XI. His feast day is celebrated on May 18.

Saint Felix of Cantalice's significance in Catholicism lies in his embodiment of Franciscan values such as humility, poverty, and service to others. His life serves as a reminder that sanctity is not reserved only for priests or religious leaders, but can be attained by anyone through a life of simplicity, charity, and unconditional love for all. His example challenges us to live our faith fully and generously, regardless of our circumstances.

What miracles are associated with Saint Felix of Cantalice?

Saint Felix of Cantalice, also known as Brother Deo Gratias, is not exactly known for performing specific miracles as some other saints are. However, his life and service to others were considered miraculous in their own light. Here are a few notable aspects related to his life that could be seen as miraculous:

Life of Piety: He led an extraordinarily humble and pious life. Saint Felix was content with a simple lifestyle, rejecting material possessions and worldly desires. In fact, he embraced poverty as a spiritual gift. His ability to remain humble and steadfast in his faith, despite the corruption and wealth around him, can be seen as a miracle.

Serving the Sick and Needy: For over four decades, Saint Felix dutifully served in the infirmary of his friary and became well-known in Rome for his service to the sick, the poor, and the homeless. He miraculously maintained this daily routine well into his old age, which was quite a feat considering the physical demands of such work.

Vision of the Virgin Mary: It is believed that Saint Felix had several mystical experiences. The most famous one was his vision of the Virgin Mary, who handed the Christ Child to him. This child was interpreted as the Capuchin order, indicating that Felix was to serve it as a humble lay brother.

Influence on People: Saint Felix had a profound influence on people with his joyous faith. Even though he was just a simple beggar, his deep spirituality attracted many people, including church dignitaries, nobles, and the general populace. His ability to inspire and motivate people towards a spiritual path can certainly be viewed as miraculous.

Remember, miracles are not always dramatic supernatural events. Sometimes, living a life dedicated to serving God and others can be the greatest miracle of all. In the case of Saint Felix of Cantalice, his extraordinary humility, piety, and dedicated service certainly make him a miraculous figure.

How did Saint Felix of Cantalice become known as the “Saint of Cheerfulness” and “Brother Deo Gratias”?

Saint Felix of Cantalice, born on May 18, 1515, was an Italian friar and a member of the Capuchin Order. He was commonly known as the "Saint of Cheerfulness" and "Brother Deo Gratias."

See also  Gerard Of Potenza

The epitaph "Saint of Cheerfulness" comes from his constant joyous disposition. Felix was noted for his serenity and sense of peace. His cheerfulness was infectious, and he was known to lighten the hearts of those he met. He believed that a cheerful heart was God's gift and such joy brought one closer to God. Felix once said, "The good God does not wish us to be sad. It is easy to serve Him cheerfully when we possess him in our heart."

The title "Brother Deo Gratias," which translates to "Thanks be to God," comes from his habit of constantly praising God. Felix had a characteristic phrase, "Deo Gratias," which he often recited, expressing his gratitude to God for all situations, good or bad. He saw the hand of God in all things and continually thanked Him for His divine providence.

Therefore, through his consistent expression of joy and gratitude towards God, Saint Felix of Cantalice became commonly known as the "Saint of Cheerfulness" and "Brother Deo Gratias."

How did Saint Felix of Cantalice contribute to the Capuchin Order and the broader Catholic Church during his lifetime?

Saint Felix of Cantalice, born on May 18, 1515, was a friar from the Capuchin Order who significantly contributed to the growth and development of the order and the Roman Catholic Church at large. He was the first member of the Capuchins to be canonized by Pope Clement XI in 1712.

Felix's contributions to the Capuchin Order

As an early member of the newly formed Capuchin branch of the Franciscan order, Saint Felix played an important role in establishing their fundamental values, which were dedicated to poverty and austerity. His deep spirituality, humility, and commitment to a life of absolute poverty helped to shape the ethos of the Capuchins, influencing many to join the order.

His main task within the Order was as a questor, that is, someone who sought alms for the friars. This meaningful work not only sustained his brothers physically but also brought spiritual nourishment to the community he served. He did this faithfully for over four decades, becoming a familiar and loved figure on the streets of Rome.

Felix's contributions to the broader Catholic Church

Beyond his direct influence on the Capuchin order, Saint Felix had a significant impact on the broader Catholic Church. He is revered for his deep mysticism, which attracted both ordinary people and important religious figures of his time, including popes and cardinals. His reputation for wisdom led many to seek his counsel, despite his lack of formal education.

He was known for his prophetic gifts and miracles. These miracles included cures and instances of bilocation, furthering the faith and spirituality of many within the Church. He was also instrumental in promoting devotion to the Holy Eucharist and the Blessed Virgin Mary.

In an era marked by religious upheaval and challenge, Saint Felix's spirituality, humility, and service to both the Capuchin Order and the broader Catholic Church stand as a powerful testament to the endurance of faith and the transformative power of love and devotion. His life continues to inspire countless faithful across the globe, reminding them of the profound impact that simple acts of service, imbued with deep spirituality, can have on the world.

In what ways can one practice and enrich their faith inspired by the life and teachings of Saint Felix of Cantalice?

As a faithful inspiration in the Catholic Church, Saint Felix of Cantalice is known for his simple and humble lifestyle, deep devotion to prayer, and acts of charity towards others. Here are some ways one can enrich their faith inspired by his life and teachings:

1. Live Simply: Saint Felix lived a simple life with few material possessions. You can practice this teaching by being mindful of the materialistic tendencies of the modern world. This means focusing more on spiritual growth rather than earthly acquisitions.

2. Prayerful Life: Saint Felix was deeply devoted to prayer; it was a cornerstone of his life. You can seek to integrate prayer into your daily routine, using it as an opportunity to connect with God and center your spiritual life.

3. Charity and Love Towards Others: Saint Felix was dedicated to helping the poor and disadvantaged. This could be translated into one's own life through volunteering, donating to charitable causes, or simply showing kindness and compassion in everyday interactions.

4. Humility: Despite his holy gifts, Saint Felix remained humble throughout his life. Practicing humility is a profound way of honoring God and acknowledging the role He plays in our lives. This may involve stepping away from self-centered attitudes, and instead looking for ways to serve others.

5. Accepting God’s Will: Saint Felix saw everything that happened to him as part of God’s will. In our own lives, we can strive to trust in God's plan for us, even when faced with adversity or uncertainty.

6. Dedication to Work: Saint Felix devoted himself fully to his duties as a friar. This dedication to diligent work, undertaken in a spirit of service and love for God, serves as an example for us to be committed and dutiful in all our undertakings.

By practicing these virtues personified by Saint Felix of Cantalice, we can take steps towards enriching our own faith and deepening our relationship with God.