January 14

St. Felix of Nola

St. Felix of Nola

Early Life

Saint Felix of Nola was born in the early 3rd century to Hermias inNola, Italy. He was the elder son and after his father passed away, hewas bequeathed all of his property.

Saint Felix sold off a large percentage of his properties and gave theproceeds to the needy. He then pursued a life of faith. Saint Maximus,the Bishop of Nola ordained him priest and made him his right-hand man.From then on Felix worked closely with Maximus.

Dedication and Devotion

It was in the year 250 that Emperor Decius began his reign of terror anddecreed of Christians. Bishop Maximus fled to a hiding place to escapethe Emperor’s slaughter but continued to govern from this hiding place.

When Emperor Decius realized Bishop Maximus was missing, he ordered theimmediate arrest of Saint Felix.

Saint Felix of Nola was jailed and tortured in place of Maximus and inpunishment for his faith. However, he was able to escape jail, accordingto reports, with the help of an angel.

The angel directed him to the desert where Bishop Maximus was. Maximuswas gravely ill and Saint Felix arrived in time to help him. They hidaway until the scourge ended with the death of Emperor Decius in 251.


After Maximus passed on, the people unanimously requested for Felix tobe the new Bishop of Nola. Saint Felix however declined and asked thatQuintus, a fellow priest be named Bishop in his stead.

Felix continued to serve as a priest and later retired to his remainingfarmland where he lived and planted crops. He continued his charitablework by giving his proceeds to the needy even as he continued to live asa poor man.

He was so admired by many, including Saint Paulinus of Nola, who adoptedSaint Felix as his very own patron saint.

Death and Canonization

Saint Felix of Nola died in 255 A.D. How he died, however, remains adebate. Some people speculate that he died a Martyr, sacrificing thislife for the cause of his Faith in the year 255 under the rule ofEmperor Valerian.

There are others who believe that he died during the prosecution ofChristians by Emperor Decius.

Saint Paulinus however believes that Saint Felix of Nola “died as aconfessor”, as he describes in one of his poems.

Saint Felix was canonized pre-congregation. He was interred within theprecincts of Nola and his tomb became a reported spot for miracles. Heis celebrated by the Catholic Church on January 14.

5 Interesting Facts About St. Felix of Nola

  1. Did you know that the remains of Saint Felix are kept at different
    locations? Some are kept in the cathedral close to where he was
    first interred and some parts are kept in several places like Rome
    and Benevento.
  2. Do you know that Saint Felix is the Patron Saint of domestic animals
    and spiders? He is also a patron saint against lies, eye diseases,
    and false witnesses.
  3. A legend attributes God using spiders to saving Bishop Maximus and
    Saint Felix of Nola on two occasions. It claims that as they hid
    in the caves, spiders whipped the web over the entrances causing
    Decius’ guards that came searching to think it had been abandoned
    for a long time.
  4. Did you know that Saint Felix’s story was preserved by Saint
    Paulinus? Saint Paulinus wrote about him almost a century after
    his death.
  5. In one account, Saint Felix found Maximus dying of hunger and
    thirst. He miraculously found some grapes in a bush and squeezed
    them into the Bishop’s mouth before carrying him to safety.

Prayer to St. Felix of Nola

Dear St Felix, help me to accept any suffering that comes my way and tooffer it up in the Name of the Lord. Amen.