Saturday, May 18, 2013

St. Felix Porri of Cantalice

BEADS OF JOY 05-18-13
St. Felix Porri of Cantalice

©2013 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

My Friends,

Today is the Feast day of
St. Felix Porri of Cantalice.

Felix Porri was born in the year 1515, in Cantalice, Italy. He received the habit of the Capuchin Friars in 1543. For forty years he served as quaestor in the city of Rome, giving a wonderful example of simplicity, innocence and charity. In continual prayer and humble joy he walked the streets of Rome helping the sick and the poor. He was called “Friar Deo Gratias” because of his custom of greeting the people with these words. Felix's was so successful in his work that during the famine of 1580, the political leader of Rome asked the Capuchins if they would 'lend' Felix to them so he could collect food and provisions for the entire city.  The Capuchins agreed and Felix embraced his new task. 

Felix had a great love for Our Blessed Mother, and he prayed to her for several hours each evening. It was even said that she appeared to him and placed the child Jesus in his arms. He used to commend to her care the people who provided food for the friars.

When he was nearly eighty he finally had to give up work. He said, "The ass can do no more; he has fallen down." As he lay dying he composed and sang a new hymn that he repeated for several days: -

Jesus, Jesus, O my love,
why delay? Come, take my heart;
and neither now nor e'er again
give back my heart to me.

Felix died on the feast of Pentecost, 18 May 1587. He was beatified by Pope Urban VIII in 1625 and canonized by Pope Clement XI in 1712. From the beginning of the Capuchin reform in the early sixteenth century, Felix has been regarded as the friar who best embodied its spirit. His Feast is celebrated on May 18.

"Cross of Christ on my forehead, Word of Christ in my mouth. Love of Christ in my heart!" ~St Felix

"Eyes on the ground, heart in heaven. rosary in hand." ~St Felix

Your brother in Christ Jesus
And His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr OFS