January 14: St Felix of Nola, Memorial


According to the Wikipedia:

"Felix was the elder son of Hermias, a Syrian soldier who had retired to Nola, Italy. After his father's death, Felix sold off most of his property and possessions, gave the proceeds to the poor, and pursued a clerical vocation. Felix was ordained by, and worked with, Saint Maximus of Nola.

When Maximus fled to the mountains to escape the persecution of Decius, Felix was arrested and beaten for his faith instead. He escaped prison, according to legend being freed by an angel, so he could help his sick bishop, Maximus. Felix found Maximus alone, ill, and helpless, and hid him from soldiers in a vacant building. When the two were safely inside, a spider quickly spun a web over the door, fooling the imperial forces into thinking it was long abandoned, and they left without finding the Christians. A subsequent attempt to arrest Felix followed, which he avoided by hiding in a ruined building where a spider's web spun across the entrance convinced the soldiers the building was abandoned. The two managed to hide from authorities until the persecution ended with the death of Emperor Decius in 251.

After Maximus's death, the people wanted Felix to be the next bishop of Nola, but he declined, favoring Quintus, a "senior" priest who had seven days more experience than Felix. Felix himself continued as a priest. He also continued to farm his remaining land, and gave most of the proceeds to people even poorer than himself.

Legend assigns to Felix a martyr's death either in the year 255 under Emperor Valerian (253-260) or, in another version, in the general persecution instigated by the Emperor Decius (249-251)."

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