Spirituality for Today – Winter 2021 – Volume 25, Issue 2

Saint of the Month for January 2021
Felician – January 24

Little is known of the life of Felician. Scholars believe he was born in Italy around 160 and was a trusted disciple of Pope Eleutherius, who reigned from 175 to 189. It was Pope Eleutherius who ordained Felician a priest. He was a devout priest and a hard worker. He gained a reputation for being an indefatigable missionary, traveling far to spread the Word of Jesus Christ.

After Eleutherius's death, Felician worked closely with is successor, Pope Victor I, and the two men became close friends. In about 198, the Pope consecrated Felician Archbishop of Foligno in Umbria, Italy. At his consecration, Felician was given the privilege of wearing the pallium, traditionally worn by popes and a few privileged bishops. In fact, Felician was probably the first bishop to wear it.

Felician served as bishop for 56 years and earned the love and admiration of his people. When Felician was 94 years old. Emperor Decius ordered everyone in the empire to sacrifice to the pagan gods of Rome and obtain certificates that they had done so. Felician staunchly refused, and the emperor ordered him arrested and tortured.

While Felician was in prison, a woman named Massalina, one of his disciples, visited him. She was then denounced as a Christian and beaten to death when she refused to sacrifice to the pagan gods. Orders were then given to take Felician to Rome to be executed. But the old man was so weakened by the tortures he had endured that he died on the road, a mere three miles from Foligno.

Felician is venerated as the first apostle of Umbria and as the patron of Foligno.

O my God,
I believe that You are the one God
in three Divine Persons:
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
I believe that Your Divine Son
became man and died for our sins,
and that He will come again
to judge the living and the dead.
I believe these and all the truths
that the Catholic Church teaches
because You have revealed them,
Who can neither deceive nor be deceived.


Traditional Act of Faith
From Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives