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Pope Felix I

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Saint Felix I
PopeFelixI
Papacy began 5 January 269
Papacy ended 30 December 274
Predecessor Dionysius
Successor Eutychian
Personal details
Birth name Felix
Born Rome, Roman Empire
Died 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
Posthumous style Saint

Pope Saint Felix I was Pope from 5 January 269 to 30 December 274.

Life and works

A Roman by birth,[1] Felix was chosen as Pope on 5 January 269,[1] in succession to Pope Dionysius, who had died on 26 December 268[1]

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.[2][3]

The text of that letter was later interpolated by a follower of Apollinaris in the interests of his sect.[4]

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.[4]

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.[5] 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.[6] 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.[4]

According to the above-mentioned detail of the "Depositio episcoporum", Felix was interred in the catacomb of Callixtus on 30 December,[4] "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."[4] 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".[7]

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,[8] 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.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Annuario Pontificio 2008 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2008 ISBN 978-88-209-8021-4), p. 8*
  2. Encyclopaedia Britannica
  3. 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Catholic Encyclopedia
  5. "Hic fecit basilicam in Via Aurelia, ubi et sepultus est"
  6. "III Kal. Januarii, Felicis in Callisti", it reads in the "Depositio episcoporum".
  7. Martyrologium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2001 ISBN 88-209-7210-7)
  8. Calendarium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 1969), p. 125

External links

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Dionysius
Bishop of Rome
Pope

269–274
Succeeded by
Eutychian


Popes of the Roman Catholic Church
PeterLinusAnacletusClement IEvaristusAlexander ISixtus ITelesphorusHyginusPius IAnicetusSoterEleuterusVictor IZephyrinusCallixtus IUrban IPontianAnterusFabianCorneliusLucius IStephen ISixtus IIDionysiusFelix IEutychianCaiusMarcellinusMarcellus IEusebiusMiltiadesSilvester IMarkJulius ILiberiusDamasus ISiriciusAnastasius IInnocent IZosimusBoniface ICelestine ISixtus IIILeo IHilariusSimpliciusFelix IIIGelasius IAnastasius IISymmachusHormisdasJohn IFelix IVBoniface IIJohn IIAgapetus ISilveriusVigiliusPelagius IJohn IIIBenedict IPelagius IIGregory ISabinianBoniface IIIBoniface IVAdeodatus IBoniface VHonorius ISeverinusJohn IVTheodore IMartin IEugene IVitalianAdeodatus IIDonusAgathoLeo IIBenedict IIJohn VCononSergius IJohn VIJohn VIISisinniusConstantineGregory IIGregory IIIZacharyStephen IIPaul IStephen IIIAdrian ILeo IIIStephen IVPaschal IEugene IIValentineGregory IVSergius IILeo IVBenedict IIINicholas IAdrian IIJohn VIIIMarinus IAdrian IIIStephen VFormosusBoniface VIStephen VIRomanusTheodore IIJohn IXBenedict IVLeo VSergius IIIAnastasius IIILandoJohn XLeo VIStephen VIIJohn XILeo VIIStephen VIIIMarinus IIAgapetus IIJohn XIILeo VIIIBenedict VJohn XIIIBenedict VIBenedict VIIJohn XIVJohn XVGregory VSilvester IIJohn XVIIJohn XVIIISergius IVBenedict VIIIJohn XIXBenedict IXSilvester IIIBenedict IXGregory VIClement IIBenedict IXDamasus IILeo IXVictor IIStephen IXNicholas IIAlexander IIGregory VIIVictor IIIUrban IIPaschal IIGelasius IICallixtus IIHonorius IIInnocent IICelestine IILucius IIEugene IIIAnastasius IVAdrian IVAlexander IIILucius IIIUrban IIIGregory VIIIClement IIICelestine IIIInnocent IIIHonorius IIIGregory IXCelestine IVInnocent IVAlexander IVUrban IVClement IVGregory XInnocent VAdrian VJohn XXINicholas IIIMartin IVHonorius IVNicholas IVCelestine VBoniface VIIIBenedict XIClement VJohn XXIIBenedict XIIClement VIInnocent VIUrban VGregory XIUrban VIBoniface IXInnocent VIIGregory XIIMartin VEugene IVNicholas VCallixtus IIIPius IIPaul IISixtus IVInnocent VIIIAlexander VIPius IIIJulius IILeo XAdrian VIClement VIIPaul IIIJulius IIIMarcellus IIPaul IVPius IVPius VGregory XIIISixtus VUrban VIIGregory XIVInnocent IXClement VIIILeo XIPaul VGregory XVUrban VIIIInnocent XAlexander VIIClement IXClement XInnocent XIAlexander VIIIInnocent XIIClement XIInnocent XIIIBenedict XIIIClement XIIBenedict XIVClement XIIIClement XIVPius VIPius VIILeo XIIPius VIIIGregory XVIPius IXLeo XIIIPius XBenedict XVPius XIPius XIIJohn XXIIIPaul VIJohn Paul IJohn Paul IIBenedict XVI



af:Pous Felix I

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