Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 14 January

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.

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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)

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The tomb of St. Felix in the Basilica di San Felix in Cimitile, built in the 3rd century

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Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 14 January

One Minute Reflection – 14 January

Then will I go to the altar of God, the God of my gladness and youth……….Ps 43:4

REFLECTION – “We must strive to place ourselves completely in God’s hands.   Then He will cause us to feel the effects of His goodness and protection – which are, at times extraordinary.”………St John Baptist de la Salle

PRAYER – Holy Lord God, let me live constantly in Your presence.   Grant that I may possess a spirit of joy and gladness because of the firm knowledge that You are always with me and in You and through You and with You, the extraordinary is commonplace!   St Felix of Nola, you did no immense deed but in 1800 years we have not forgotten your extraordinary love.  Please pray for us, amen.

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Posted in MORNING Prayers

Our Morning Offering – 14 January

Our Morning Offering – 14 January

Before Jesus Crucified by Blessed Titus Brandsma

Dear Lord, when looking up at Thee,
I see Thy loving eyes on me,
Love overflows my humble heart,
Knowing what a faithful friend Thou are.
A cup of sorrow I foresee,
Which I accept for love of Thee,
Thy painful way I wish to go,
The only way to God I know.
My soul is full of peace and light,
Although in pain, this light shines bright.
For here Thou keepest to Thy breast.
My longing heart to find there rest.
Leave me here freely all alone,
In cell where never sunlight shone.
Should no one ever speak to me,
This golden silence makes me free!
For though alone, I have no fear,
Never wert Thou, O Lord, so near.
Sweet Jesus, please, abide with me!
My deepest peace I find in Thee

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Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 14 January – St Felix of Nola

Saint of the Day – 14 January – St Felix of Nola (c early 3rd century-c 260) Priest and Confessor

A 100 years after St. Felix’s death, St. Paulinus of Nola told his story, adding without discernment appealing legends that had accumulated over the years. But we can trust the unadorned factual outline of Felix’s life.

After Felix divested himself of all his possessions, St. Maximus, the bishop of Nola, a town near Naples Italy, ordained him a priest and made him his right-hand man. In 250, when Emperor Decius decreed a ferocious persecution, Maximus installed himself in a desert hiding place from which he safely governed the church.   Because soldiers could not find Maximus at Nola, they tortured and jailed Felix in his place.  However, just as St. Peter had had a miraculous escape from prison, an angel is said to have released Felix.   Then the angel guided Felix to rescue Maximus, who was near death.

The persecution subsided in 251.   Upon the death of Maximus the people wanted to name Felix as bishop but he declined.   Instead he retired to a small farm, where for the rest of his life he raised crops to feed himself and provide alms for the poor.  St. Felix died around 260.

Every year Paulinus wrote a poem to celebrate Felix’s feast day.   In one he said that while Felix did not die a martyr he was willing to offer his life as a sacrifice to God. Paulinus thus provided one of the earliest definitions of a “confessor”:

“This festive day celebrates Felix’s birthday, the day on which he died physically on earth and was born for Christ in heaven, winning his heavenly crown as a martyr who did not shed his blood.   For he died as confessor, though he did not avoid execution by choice, since God accepted his inner faith in place of blood. God looks into the silence of hearts and equates those ready to suffer with those who have already done so, for he considers this inward test as sufficient, and dispenses with physical execution in case of true devotion.   Martyrdom without bloodshed is enough for him if mind and faith are ready to suffer and are fervent towards God.”

Paulinus adopted Felix as his patron saint, a custom that had its roots in the early church. But for Paulinus, a patron was more than a namesake.   Felix not only interceded for him in heaven.   He also accompanied him spiritually as an encourager, guide, and protector, as Paulinus explained in the following passage:

“Father and lord, best of patrons to servants however unworthy, at last our prayer is answered to celebrate your birthday within your threshold. . . .You know what toils on land and sea have . . . kept me far from your abode in a distant world because I have always and everywhere had you near me and have called on you in the grim moments of travel and in the uncertainties of life.. . . I never sailed without you, for I felt your protection in Christ the Lord when I overcame rough seas.  On land and water my journeying is always made safe through you.   Felix, I beg you, address a prayer on behalf of your own to that Embodiment of the calm of eternal love and peace, to Him on whose great name you depend.”

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saints for 14 January

Bl Alfonsa Clerici
Bl Amadeus of Clermont
St Barbasymas
St Caldeoldus of Vienne
St Datius of Milan
Bl Devasahayam Pillai
St Engelmaro
St Eufrasio of Clermont
St Euphrasius the Martyr
St Felix of Nola
St Felix of Rome
St Fermin of Mende
St Glycerius of Antioch
Bl Godfrey of Cappenberg
St Isaias the Martyr
St Jesaja of Sinai
St Macrina the Elder
St Nino of Georgia
Bl Odoric of Pordenone
St Odo of Novara
Bl Pablo Merillas Fernández
St Paul of Africa
Bl Petrus Donders
St Potitus
Bl Rainer of Arnsberg
St Sabas of Sinai
St Sava of Serbia
St Successus of Africa
St Theodolus of Sinai
Bl William de Sanjulia

Martyrs of Mount Sinai
Martyrs of Raithu – 43 saints