Saint of the Day – 8 October – Saint Felix of Como (Died 390) the first Bishop of Como. Felix was a friend of Saint Ambrose, who praised him for his missionary activity and Ordained him a Priest in 379 and Consecrated him as Bishop in 386. St Ambrose sent him to evangelise the City of Como, as a testimony to the great missionary drive of the Church of Milan. When St Bassianus of Lodi (c 320 – 413 – feast day 10 June) built a Church dedicated to the Apostles at Lodi, he Consecrated it in the presence of Saints Ambrose and Felix. St Felix is honoured as a zealous shepherd of souls. Additional Memorials – 31 August in Milan and 14 July on some calendars.
The Roman Martyrology states: “In Como, St Felix, Bishop, who, Ordained by St Ambrose of Milan, was the first to rule the Church of this City.”
The first document that presents Felix, is a letter from St Ambrose of Milan, from which it is noted that the recent evangelisation work of the first Bishop, Felix, although it had led to the conversion of many people, required the indispensable and constant collaboration of some co-operators: “I know well that you do not lack work in the vineyard of the Lord, especially because there are few workers with you, who can help us but, this lament is old and too well known to us: the Hand of God, however, has not shortened; He will help you in your need and will send you new workers to harvest the grain of the Lord. I thank the Lord very much, He, Who favoured you in the conversion of these souls and cordially congratulate you, hearing how many of these citizens of Como have already accepted the Catholic faith.”
From the full text of the letter, which is undated, it appears that Felix enjoyed the familiarity and paternal predilection of Saint Ambrose, who had conferred on him the Episcopal Consecration on Sunday 1 November, almost certainly in 386 and had sent him to the Consecration of the Basilica of the Apostles built by St Bassianus in Lodi, Bishop of that City, who longed for the presence of the Bishop of Como.
In another letter, of exquisitely familiar and friendly tone, commonly ascribed to the year 387, Ambrose thanks Felix for the gift of a basket of truffles but also complains that he visits him too rarely.
According to an ancient tradition, Felix would have erected the first Church of Como on the open slope of the Baradello hill, in honour of the Saints Carpoforo and fellow martyrs and in it buried their bodies.
Tradition has handed down 8 October as the date of Felix’s death, also his feast day.
He was buried in the primitive Church of San Carpoforo and subsequently in the enlarged Basilica of the same name, until, in 1932, his body was transferred to the new Parish Church of San Brigida, where his cult is still alive and placed under the main Altar.
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