St Felix of Nola

Bishop. Born in Syria in the second century, Felix was a solder in the Imperial army. He left the army, gave all his possessions away and became a priest in the town of Nola near Naples in Italy. Bishop Saint Maximus chose him to be his assistant.

In the year 250 the persecution of Christians began, under the Emperor Decius. Felix was arrested, thrown into prison and tortured. Eventually he escaped, and was able to watched over the deathbed of the Bishop. From this time on he dedicated himself to the serving the persecuted Christians.

After the cruel Decius died, there was a period of peace for the Church. Felix was offered the Bishopric of Nola, but he refused this position, saying he preferred to serve the next bishop. There are many stories of his holiness and his charity to all.

Felix died in the year 260. Because of the many sufferings he endured in his life for the church, has always been honoured as a Martyr.

His shrine at Nola, is a place of pilgrimage where many miracles are said to have taken place through his infercession. Saint Paulinus of Nola and the Venerable Bede both wrote the Life of Saint Felix. The 3rd century Pope Saint Damasus composed verses in his honour.

St Felix is the patron saint of spiders. It is said that when he was in prison, a spider helped him escape. It made a great web over a wall behind which he was able to make a hole , which his jailers never found. Legends say he always defended spiders and would not allow one to be squashed in his presence.

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