Spirituality for Today – October 2008 – Volume 13, Issue 3

The Twenty–Sixth Pope

Saint Felix I

An illustrtion of Saint Felix IPope St. Felix I (269-274) – In this series of articles on the lives of the popes, this author has had to labor under the lean amount of historically reliable data extant regarding the early popes. Pope Felix I is a paradigm of this regrettable circumstance. It is known that Pope Felix had to address the issue of the deposition of Bishop Paul of Samosata. Concerning this matter, a letter addressed to the pope arrived reporting the action taken by a synod in Antioch. The correspondence was not sent to Felix himself but to his predecessor Dionysius who was dead by the time the letter arrived. Thus, the one object connected to the reign of Pope Felix was not even meant specifically for him.

Pope Felix responded in favor of the decision of the synod and demanded that Paul remove himself from the surroundings of his office. Paul refused to leave. After an appeal to the emperor by the bishops of the synod, the Emperor Aurelian affirmed the authenticity of that bishop who was in favor of the pope and the bishops of Italy.

Contrary to tradition, Pope Felix did not die a martyr. The burial place of Pope Felix is in the cemetery of Callistus.

Habemus papam