St. Felix of Valois, Confessor–W (III)
Friday, November 20
ST. FELIX was son of the Count of Valois. His mother throughout his youth did all she could to cultivate in him a spirit of charity. The unjust divorce between his parents matured a long-formed resolution of leaving the world; and, confiding his mother to her pious brother, Thibault, Count of Champagne, he took the Cistercian habit at Clairvaux. His rare virtues drew on him such admiration that, with St. Bernard’s consent, he fled to Italy, where he led an austere life with an aged hermit. At this time he was ordained priest, and his old counsellor having died, he returned to France, and for many years lived as a solitary at Cerfroid. Here God inspired him with the desire of founding an Order for the redemption of Christian captives, and moved St. John of Matha, then a youth, to conceive a similar wish. Together they drew up the rules of the Order of the Holy Trinity. Many disciples gathered round them; and, seeing that the time had come for further action, the two Saints made a pilgrimage to Rome to obtain the confirmation of the Order from Innocent III. Their prayer was granted, and the last fifteen , years of Felix’s long life were spent in organizing and developing his rapidly increasing foundations. He died in 1213.
Reflection.—“Think how much,” says St. John Chrysostom, “and how often thy mouth has sinned, and thou wilt devote thyself entirely to the conversion of sinners. For by this one means thou wilt blot out all thy sins, in that thy mouth will become the mouth of God.”