O Eternal Shepherd, watch over the peace of Thy flock, and through blessed Felix Thy Martyr and Sovereign Pontiff, whom thou didst appoint shepherd over the whole Church, keep her under Thy constant protection. Through our Lord etc.
Ant. Perpetual light shall shine upon Thy Saints, O Lord, and an eternity of ages, alleluia.
V. O ye holy and just ones, rejoice in the Lord, alleluia.
R. God has chosen you to Himself for an ineritance, alleluia.
St. Felix was a Roman by birth, and succeeded St. Dionysius in the government of the Church in 269. Paul of Samosata, the proud Bishop of Antioch, to the guilt of many enormous crimes added that of heresy, teaching that Christ was no more than a mere man, in whom the Divine Word dwelt by its operation and as in its temple, with many other gross errors concerning the capital mysteries of the Trinity and Incarnation. Three councils were held at Antioch to examine his cause, and in the third, assembled in 269, being clearly convicted of heresy, pride, and many scandalous crimes, he was excommunicated and deposed, and Domnus was substituted in his place.
As Paul still kept possession of the episcopal house, our Saint had recourse to the Emperor Aurelian, who, though a pagan, gave an order that the house should belong to him to whom the bishops of Rome and Italy adjudged it. The persecution of Aurelian breaking out, St. Felix, fearless of danger, strengthened the weak, encouraged all, baptized the catechumens, and continued to exert himself in converting infidels to the Faith. He himself obtained the glory of martyrdom. He governed the Church five years, and passed to a glorious eternity in 274.
Reflection--The example of Our Saviour and of all His saints ought to encourage us under all trials to suffer with patience and even with joy. We shall soon begin to feel that it is sweet to tread in the steps of a God-man, and shall find that if we courageously take up our crosses, He will make them light by sharing the burden with us.