We celebrate the lives of saints once a year on their feast day. This week, on Saturday, the Feast of St. Felix of Cantalice is celebrated. Why is he important for us to remember? I usually mention St. Francis or St. Clare in my messages, plus words from Blessed Mary Angela Truskowska. But, St. Felix is also very central to the ministry at Felician Village. As a ministry of the Felician Sisters of North America, St. Felix is significant as he is the saint for whom the Sisters are named! He also was the first Capuchin Franciscan saint, who lived from 1515 to 1587, and was canoninzed in 1712.

This humble man worked on farms far into adulthood. After an accident with a plow that should have killed him and actually left him unharmed, he decided to offer himself in service to God with the Capuchin friars. His role was as a questor, meaning that he went out and begged for the friars and for the poor in Rome, Italy. He shared the bread and wine that he received each day, and always gave thanks to God. He was known for the phrase, “Deo Gratias,” which means, “Thank God.” He said, “Trust in the Lord’s providence and give thanks.”  

One of the aspects of his life that I enjoyed learning about was his friendship with St. Philip of Neri. They used to joke with each other and spent time in laughter, while also serving God’s people together, visiting the poor and sick. It always makes saints much more accessible to me to learn about their day to day lives. We know about miracles attributed to saints and the amazing justice work they offered to God’s people. But, learning that they had normal struggles, joys, and friends adds to the view of saints as people that live their lives as we do. We work to serve others. We help those who are in need. Like the saints, we live our days in a world filled with many demands tugging at our time. We also, like the saints, spend time with those we care about, having fun and watching over others.

Consider the lives of saints for their models of holiness. At the same time, know that they lived in a way typical for their times as well! We can all strive for that holiness in our normal existence.

Blessed Angela: “Thank God because all good things come from Him.”

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