St Felix of Cantalice 1515-1587
Born on 18 May 1515 to a poor farming family in Catalice, Italy. From the age of ten he looked after sheep and then worked as a labourer. Even as a child he spent all his spare time in prayer and contemplation. He joined the newly formed Capuchin Friars as a lay brother in 1543. In 1547 he moved to Rome and worked as a quaestor for the Friary. This meant walking the streets of Rome begging for alms to help the friars’ work looking after the poor and sick. He did this for 40 years. He was known as “Brother Deo Gratias” as he blessed all those who helped with “Deo Gratias”.
He was plain speaking and admonished the injustices and corruption he found in Rome. Although he could not read, he taught children about the love of God through songs and rhymes, he was also consulted by learned priests on various theological problems. He died on 18 May 1587 on his 72nd birthday. He was beatified by Urban VIII on 1 October 1625 and canonised by Pope Clement XI on 22 May 1712.
Prayer: St Felix of Cantalice
St Felix, in your simplicity you saw the true light of God,
help us to value simplicity and truth
in our busy, chaotic lives.
Help us to see the true person
by being able to strip away the outward claddings
of education, status and money.
We ask this through Jesus Christ Our Lord,
St Felix of Cantalice. Pray for us.