I am already in Paradise

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

 I am already in Paradise
St. Felix of Cantalise

Today’s saint, Felix of Cantalise, 1515-1587) was beatified on this day, May 18, on Pentecost.  He was born in Italy of a peasant family. He took care of cattle and was a farm laborer.  Somehow nature drew him to God and he became very interested in prayer and developed into a very kind and gentle person. One day he was training a team of oxen but they shied away and pulled the plow over him.  He was not injured but the incident convinced him that farming was not for him. 

When he was 28 years old he joined the Capuchins and found that having time for prayer really agreed with him and he felt as though he were living a new life in spite of the fact that he was severely temped by the devil and acquired a lingering illness. He eventually became their first canonized saint.  He was sent to one of the Roman monasteries and was appointed the task of gathering alms.  He did this with such graciousness and gratitude that he became known as Brother “Deo Gratias”  During his begging trips he paid special attention to two very different kinds of people.  One group was those who were viscous and openly sinful persons whom he openly called to repent; and the other group, was children.

Felix had a special fondness for children who loved his simplicity.   He would gather them in bands, form a circle with them and sing songs that he had composed himself.  With the words of the songs, he taught them about the goodness of live and the ugliness of sin. The Felician Sisters is a religious institute named for a shrine of St. Felix, because of his devotion to children

A prayers of St. Felix
"Cross of Christ on my forehead, Word of Christ in my mouth. Love of Christ in my heart!"
"I live so happily that it seems to me that I am already in Paradise:
  and may it please the Lord not to give me any reward in the present life for whatever little thing I may do.”
 "Think about God who rejoices the heart and not about vain things which pollute the heart."
 "I know only six letters: five red and one white;
The five red letters are the Wounds of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the white being the Madonna."
 "Eyes on the ground, heart in heaven. rosary in hand."

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