Thought for the Day – 14 January
St Felix and the Spider
This is the beautiful story of how St Felix of Nola hid from his enemies, during persecution. They were close on his tracks when he hid in the wall of a ruined house. He entered through a narrow opening and immediately afterward, a spider spun a web over the passage to mislead the persecutors. They saw the web and figured that no one could have passed through that opening for some days. So they went on, leaving the saint safe.
A spider web conceals St. Felix from his Roman pursuers
A man protected from terrible persecutors by a spider is extremely charming and poetic. It is a very beautiful episode. Soldiers of the Roman legion, all armed, are searching every inch of the ruined house. I nside one wall is St. Felix, hearing everything. He hears their conversation as they draw near his hiding place. When they stop close to the narrow opening, he thinks: “Now, I am lost.” Then, he hears the commander say: “Let’s not waste time searching here because there are spider webs. No one has been through this opening for some time.”
Again, even if the spider did not exist – and I am not at all sure that it didn’t – it portrays a difficult situation through which St. Felix had to pass that reflects what he had to suffer for the Church, that is, a high moral profile.
Whether these facts are true or not, they tell us that St. Felix was a great saint who left a deep mark on his time. Otherwise the people would not have preserved and passed on the memory of his life. Legend gives us a marvelous image of his life. It is a charming perspective that already has something of Heaven.
Let us pray to St. Felix, asking him to give us dedication in the service of the Church, the courage to face persecution and the desire for Heaven and to know and believe that marvels occur now, each moment of each day, through God who works extraordinary deeds if we believe! (by Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira)
The tomb of St. Felix in the Basilica di San Felix in Cimitile, built in the 3rd century