|Saint Felix I|
|Papacy began||5 January 269|
|Papacy ended||30 December 274|
|Born||Rome, Roman Empire|
30 December 274|
Rome, Roman Empire
|Other Popes named Felix|
|Styles of |
Pope Felix I
|Reference style||His Holiness|
|Spoken style||Your Holiness|
|Religious style||Holy Father|
Pope Saint Felix I was Pope from 5 January 269 to 30 December 274.
Life and works
Felix was the author of an important dogmatic letter on the unity of Christ's Person. He received the emperor Aurelian's aid in settling a theological dispute between the anti-Trinitarian Paul of Samosata, who had been deprived of the bishopric Antioch by a council of bishops for heresy and the orthodox Domnus, Paul's successor. Paul refused to give way, and in 272 the emperor Aurelian was asked to decide between the rivals. He ordered the church building to be given to the bishop who was "recognized by the bishops of Italy and of the city of Rome" (Felix). See Eusebius, Hist. Ecc. vii. 30.
The text of that letter was later interpolated by a follower of Apollinaris in the interests of his sect.
The notice about Felix in the "Liber Pontificalis" ascribes to him a decree that Masses should be celebrated on the tombs of martyrs ("Hic constituit supra memorias martyrum missas celebrare"). The author of this entry was evidently alluding to the custom of celebrating Mass privately at the altars near or over the tombs of the martyrs in the crypts of the catacombs (missa ad corpus), while the solemn celebration always took place in the basilicas built over the catacombs. This practice, still in force at the end of the fourth century, dates apparently from the period when the great cemeterial basilicas were built in Rome, and owes its origin to the solemn commemoration services of martyrs, held at their tombs on the anniversary of their burial, as early as the third century. Felix probably issued no such decree, but the compiler of the "Liber Pontificalis" attributed it to him because he made no departure from the custom in force in his time.
Death and veneration
The acts of the Council of Ephesus give Pope Felix as a martyr; but this detail, which occurs again in the biography of the pope in the "Liber Pontificalis", is unsupported by any authentic earlier evidence and is manifestly due to a confusion of names. According to the notice in the "Liber Pontificalis", Felix erected a basilica on the Via Aurelia; the same source also adds that he was buried there. The latter detail is evidently an error, for the fourth century Roman calendar of feasts says that Pope Felix was interred in the Catacomb of Callixtus on the Via Appia. The statement of the "Liber Pontificalis" concerning the pope's martyrdom results obviously from a confusion with a Roman martyr of the same name buried on the Via Aurelia, and over whose grave a church was built. In the Roman "Feriale" or calendar of feasts, referred to above, the name of Felix occurs in the list of Roman bishops (Depositio episcoporum), and not in that of the martyrs.
According to the above-mentioned detail of the "Depositio episcoporum", Felix was interred in the catacomb of Callixtus on 30 December, "III Kal. Jan." (third day to the calends of January) in the Roman dating system. Saint Felix I is mentioned as Pope and Martyr, with a simple feast, on 30 May. This date, given in the "Liber Pontificalis" as that of his death (III Kal. Jun.), is probably an error which could easily occur through a transcriber writing "Jun." for "Jan." This error persisted in the General Roman Calendar until 1969 (see General Roman Calendar of 1962), by which time the mention of Saint Felix I was reduced to a commemoration in the ferial Mass by decision of Pope Pius XII (see General Roman Calendar of Pope Pius XII. Thereafter, the feast of Saint Felix I, no longer mentioned in the General Roman Calendar, is celebrated on his true day of death, 30 December, and without the qualification of "martyr".
According to more recent studies, the oldest liturgical books indicate that the saint honoured on 30 May was a little-known martyr buried on the Via Aurelia , who was mistakenly identified with Pope Felix I, an error similar to but less curious than the identification in the liturgical books, until the mid-1950s, of the martyr saint celebrated on 30 July with the antipope Felix II.
- Annuario Pontificio 2008 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2008 ISBN 978-88-209-8021-4), p. 8*
- Encyclopaedia Britannica
- 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica
- Catholic Encyclopedia
- "Hic fecit basilicam in Via Aurelia, ubi et sepultus est"
- "III Kal. Januarii, Felicis in Callisti", it reads in the "Depositio episcoporum".
- Martyrologium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2001 ISBN 88-209-7210-7)
- Calendarium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 1969), p. 125
- "Pope St. Felix I" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- Writings attributed to Pope Felix I
|Catholic Church titles|
|Bishop of Rome
|Popes of the Roman Catholic Church|
|Peter • Linus • Anacletus • Clement I • Evaristus • Alexander I • Sixtus I • Telesphorus • Hyginus • Pius I • Anicetus • Soter • Eleuterus • Victor I • Zephyrinus • Callixtus I • Urban I • Pontian • Anterus • Fabian • Cornelius • Lucius I • Stephen I • Sixtus II • Dionysius • Felix I • Eutychian • Caius • Marcellinus • Marcellus I • Eusebius • Miltiades • Silvester I • Mark • Julius I • Liberius • Damasus I • Siricius • Anastasius I • Innocent I • Zosimus • Boniface I • Celestine I • Sixtus III • Leo I • Hilarius • Simplicius • Felix III • Gelasius I • Anastasius II • Symmachus • Hormisdas • John I • Felix IV • Boniface II • John II • Agapetus I • Silverius • Vigilius • Pelagius I • John III • Benedict I • Pelagius II • Gregory I • Sabinian • Boniface III • Boniface IV • Adeodatus I • Boniface V • Honorius I • Severinus • John IV • Theodore I • Martin I • Eugene I • Vitalian • Adeodatus II • Donus • Agatho • Leo II • Benedict II • John V • Conon • Sergius I • John VI • John VII • Sisinnius • Constantine • Gregory II • Gregory III • Zachary • Stephen II • Paul I • Stephen III • Adrian I • Leo III • Stephen IV • Paschal I • Eugene II • Valentine • Gregory IV • Sergius II • Leo IV • Benedict III • Nicholas I • Adrian II • John VIII • Marinus I • Adrian III • Stephen V • Formosus • Boniface VI • Stephen VI • Romanus • Theodore II • John IX • Benedict IV • Leo V • Sergius III • Anastasius III • Lando • John X • Leo VI • Stephen VII • John XI • Leo VII • Stephen VIII • Marinus II • Agapetus II • John XII • Leo VIII • Benedict V • John XIII • Benedict VI • Benedict VII • John XIV • John XV • Gregory V • Silvester II • John XVII • John XVIII • Sergius IV • Benedict VIII • John XIX • Benedict IX • Silvester III • Benedict IX • Gregory VI • Clement II • Benedict IX • Damasus II • Leo IX • Victor II • Stephen IX • Nicholas II • Alexander II • Gregory VII • Victor III • Urban II • Paschal II • Gelasius II • Callixtus II • Honorius II • Innocent II • Celestine II • Lucius II • Eugene III • Anastasius IV • Adrian IV • Alexander III • Lucius III • Urban III • Gregory VIII • Clement III • Celestine III • Innocent III • Honorius III • Gregory IX • Celestine IV • Innocent IV • Alexander IV • Urban IV • Clement IV • Gregory X • Innocent V • Adrian V • John XXI • Nicholas III • Martin IV • Honorius IV • Nicholas IV • Celestine V • Boniface VIII • Benedict XI • Clement V • John XXII • Benedict XII • Clement VI • Innocent VI • Urban V • Gregory XI • Urban VI • Boniface IX • Innocent VII • Gregory XII • Martin V • Eugene IV • Nicholas V • Callixtus III • Pius II • Paul II • Sixtus IV • Innocent VIII • Alexander VI • Pius III • Julius II • Leo X • Adrian VI • Clement VII • Paul III • Julius III • Marcellus II • Paul IV • Pius IV • Pius V • Gregory XIII • Sixtus V • Urban VII • Gregory XIV • Innocent IX • Clement VIII • Leo XI • Paul V • Gregory XV • Urban VIII • Innocent X • Alexander VII • Clement IX • Clement X • Innocent XI • Alexander VIII • Innocent XII • Clement XI • Innocent XIII • Benedict XIII • Clement XII • Benedict XIV • Clement XIII • Clement XIV • Pius VI • Pius VII • Leo XII • Pius VIII • Gregory XVI • Pius IX • Leo XIII • Pius X • Benedict XV • Pius XI • Pius XII • John XXIII • Paul VI • John Paul I • John Paul II • Benedict XVI • Francis|
af:Pous Felix I bg:Феликс I ca:Fèlix I ceb:Félix I cs:Felix I. da:Pave Felix 1. et:Felix I eo:Felikso la 1-a fa:فلیکس یکم gl:Fiz I, papa ko:교황 펠릭스 1세 hr:Feliks I. id:Paus Feliks I jv:Paus Felix I ka:ფელიქს I (პაპი) sw:Papa Felix I la:Felix I hu:I. Félix pápa mk:Папа Феликс I ja:フェリクス1世 (ローマ教皇) no:Felix I pt:Papa Félix I ro:Papa Felix I ru:Феликс I (папа римский) sk:Felix I. fi:Pyhä Felix I sv:Felix I tl:Félix I th:สมเด็จพระสันตะปาปาเฟลิกซ์ที่ 1 uk:Фелікс I vi:Felix I war:Papa Felix I zh:教宗斐理斯一世