Felix of Valois

Last updated
Saint Felix of Valois
San felix valois.jpg
BornApril 16, 1127
possibly Valois, France
DiedNovember 4, 1212(1212-11-04) (aged 85)
Monastery of Cerfroid, Brumetz, Picardy (now the department of Aisne), France
Venerated in Catholic Church
Canonized May 1, 1262, Rome by Pope Urban IV
Major shrine Monastery of Cerfroid, Brumetz, Department of Aisne, France
Feast November 4
November 20 (General Roman Calendar 1679-1969)
Attributes banner; old man in Trinitarian habit with a coronet at his feet; purse; Trinitarian with a stag nearby; Trinitarian with chains or captives nearby; depicted with the Holy Trinity
Statues of John of Matha, Felix of Valois and Saint Ivan, Charles Bridge, Prague Sv Jan z Malty.jpg
Statues of John of Matha, Felix of Valois and Saint Ivan, Charles Bridge, Prague

Saint Felix of Valois (April 16, 1127 – November 4, 1212) was a hermit and a co-founder (with Saint John of Matha) of the Trinitarian Order.



Butler says that Felix was born in 1127. [1] He was surnamed Valois because he was a native of the province of Valois. Tradition holds that he renounced his possessions and retired to a dense forest in the Diocese of Meaux, where he gave himself to prayer and contemplation. [2] Much later sources sometimes identify him with Hugh (II), supposed son of Ralph I, Count of Vermandois by Eleanor of Champagne.

St. John of Matha, a young nobleman, a native of Provence, and doctor of divinity, who was lately ordained priest, having heard of the holy hermit of Cerfroid, sought him out, and put himself under his direction. [1] St. John proposed to him the project of founding an order for the redemption of captives. [3] Felix, though seventy years of age, readily agreed.

The Trinitarians

Felix, in company with John, set out for Rome in the depth of winter and arrived there in January 1198, the beginning of the pontificate of Innocent III. They had letters of recommendation from the Bishop of Paris, and the new pope received them with kindness and lodged them in his palace. Innocent III, though little in favor of new orders, granted his approval to this enterprise in a Bull of 17 December 1198, [4] under the named of the Order of the Holy Trinity for the Redemption of Captives. Innocent appointed John of Matha superior-general and commissioned the Bishop of Paris and the Abbot of St. Victor to draw up for the institute a rule, which he subsequently confirmed. [1] Felix returned to France to establish the order. He was received with great enthusiasm, and King Philip Augustus authorized the institute in France and fostered it by signal benefactions. [3]

Margaret of Blois granted the order 20 acres (81,000 m2) of the wood where Felix had built his first hermitage, and on almost the same spot he erected the famous Monastery of Cerfroid, the mother-house of the institute. Within forty years the order possessed six hundred monasteries in every part of Europe. St. John was obliged to go to Rome to found a house of the order, the church of which, Santa Maria in Navicella, still stands on the Caelian Hill. St Felix remained in France to look after the interests of the congregation. He founded a house in Paris attached to the church of St. Maturinus, which afterwards became famous under Robert Guguin, master general of the order. [3]

St Felix died amongst his fellow Trinitarians at their motherhouse in Cerfroid on November 4, 1212. [1]


Though no bull of his canonization is extant, it is the tradition of his institute that he was canonized by Pope Urban IV on May 1, 1262. Du Plessis tells us that his feast was kept in the Diocese of Meaux as early as the year 1215. On October 21, 1666, Pope Alexander VII confirmed his status as a saint because of his immemorial cult. [5] In 1679 St Felix's feast was transferred to November 20 by Pope Innocent XI, when it was placed in the General Roman Calendar because, since 1613, November 4 was the feast day of Saint Charles Borromeo [6] In 1969, his feast was restored to November 4, his dies natalis . [7]


Saint-Felix-de-Valois is a village in the province of Quebec. St. Felix de Valois Parish is located in Bankstown, Australia. [8] St. Felix Church in Clifton Springs, New York is named after him. It is now part of Saint Peter's Roman Catholic Parish in the Diocese of Rochester, New York. The current church building was built in 1895 and the name of the parish was changed at that time from St. Agnes to St. Felix by the pastor Father Felix O'Hanlon. The [9] Saint Felix Catholic Center is a retreat center and home to a group of the Franciscan Brothers Minor in Huntington, Indiana.

See also

Related Research Articles

Antipope Felix II Antipope

Antipope Felix, an archdeacon of Rome, was installed as Pope in AD 355 after the Emperor Constantius II banished the reigning Pope, Liberius, for refusing to subscribe to a sentence of condemnation against Saint Athanasius.

Pope Alexander I 6th Pope of the Catholic Church

Pope Alexander I was the Bishop of Rome from c. 107 to his death c. 115. The Holy See's Annuario Pontificio (2012) identifies him as a Roman who reigned from 108 or 109 to 116 or 119. Some believe he suffered martyrdom under the Roman Emperor Trajan or Hadrian, but this is improbable.

Pope Pius I 10th pope

Pope Pius I was the Bishop of Rome from c. 140 to his death c. 154, according to the Annuario Pontificio. His dates are listed as 142 or 146 to 157 or 161, respectively.

Pope Innocent I pope

Pope Innocent I served as the pope of the Catholic Church from 401 to his death in 417. From the beginning of his papacy, he was seen as the general arbitrator of ecclesiastical disputes in both the East and the West. He confirmed the prerogatives of the Archbishop of Thessalonica, and issued a decretal on disciplinary matters referred to him by the Bishop of Rouen. He defended the exiled John Chrysostom and consulted with the bishops of Africa concerning the Pelagian controversy, confirming the decisions of the African synods. The Catholic priest-scholar Johann Peter Kirsch, 1500 years later, described Innocent as a very energetic and highly gifted individual "...who fulfilled admirably the duties of his office".

Pope Felix I 3rd-century Pope

Pope Felix I was the Bishop of Rome or Pope from 5 January 269 to his death in 274.

Pope Marcellinus pope

Pope Marcellinus was the Bishop of Rome or Pope from 30 June 296 to his death in 304. According to the Liberian Catalogue, he was a Roman, the son of a certain Projectus. His predecessor was Pope Caius.

The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, commonly referred to as the Feast of Christ the King or Christ the King Sunday, is a relatively recent addition to the Western liturgical calendar, having been instituted in 1925 by Pope Pius XI for the Roman Catholic Church. In 1970 its Roman Catholic observance was moved to the final Sunday of Ordinary Time. Therefore, the earliest date on which it can occur is 20 November and the latest is 26 November. The Anglican, Lutheran, and many other Protestant churches also celebrate the Feast of Christ the King, which is contained in the Revised Common Lectionary. Roman Catholics adhering to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite use the General Roman Calendar of 1960, and as such continue to observe the Solemnity on its original date of the final Sunday of October. It is also observed on the same computed date as the final Sunday of the ecclesiastical year, the Sunday before the First Sunday of Advent, by Western rite parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. In 2019, the feast day is celebrated on 24 November.

Trinitarian Order

The Order of the Most Holy Trinity and of the Captives, also known as the Trinitarian Order or the Trinitarians, is a Catholic religious order founded in Cerfroid, outside Paris, in late 12th century. From the very outset, a special dedication to the mystery of the Holy Trinity has been a constitutive element of the order's life.

Cyriacus, sometimes Anglicized as Cyriac, according to Christian tradition, is a Christian martyr who was killed in the persecution of Diocletian. He is one of twenty-seven saints, most of them martyrs, who bear this name, of whom only seven are honoured by a specific mention of their names in the Roman Martyrology.

Felix of Nola priest and saint

Saint Felix of Nola was a Christian presbyter at Nola near Naples in Italy. He sold off his possessions in order to give to the poor, but was arrested and tortured for his Christian faith during the persecution of the Roman emperor Decius. He was believed to have died a martyr's death during the persecution of Decius or Valerian, but is now listed in the General Roman Calendar as a confessor of the faith, who survived his tortures.

In the Latin liturgical rites, a commemoration is the recital, within the Liturgy of the Hours or the Mass of one celebration, of part of another celebration, generally of lower rank, that is impeded because of a coincidence of date.

Peter of Alcantara, was a Spanish Franciscan friar canonized in 1669.

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God Feast day in the Roman Catholic Church

The Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God is a feast day of the Blessed Virgin Mary under the aspect of her motherhood of Jesus Christ, whom Christians see as the Lord, Son of God. It is celebrated by the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church on 1 January, the Octave (8th) day of Christmastide. The solemnity is a Holy Day of Obligation.

Raymond Nonnatus Saint from Catalonia in Spain

Raymond Nonnatus, O. de M., is a saint from Catalonia in Spain. His nickname refers to his birth by Caesarean section, his mother having died while giving birth to him.

John of Matha Italian saint

Saint John of Matha (1160–1213) was a Christian saint of the 12th century and founder of the Order of the Most Holy Trinity, dedicated to ransoming captive Christians.

Lawrence Justinian first Patriarch of Venice

Lawrence Justinian is venerated as a saint by the Catholic Church. He was a canon regular who was appointed as a bishop and became the first Patriarch of Venice.

Rufina and Secunda Roman virgin-martyrs and Christian saints

Rufina and Secunda were Roman virgin-martyrs and Christian saints. Their feast day is celebrated on 10 July.

Saint Hermes Greek saint

Saint Hermes, born in Greece, died in Rome as a martyr in 120, is venerated as a saint by the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church. His name appears in the Martyrologium Hieronymianum as well as entries in the Depositio Martyrum (354). There was a large basilica over his tomb that was built around 600 by Pope Pelagius I. It was restored by Pope Adrian I. A catacomb in the Salarian Way bears his name.

Marcellus of Capua was a third- or fourth-century martyr who was inserted in the General Roman Calendar in the 13th century. He is recognized as a saint by the Catholic Church, with 7 October as his feast day.

Agapitus of Palestrina Teenage Christian martyr

Saint Agapitus is venerated as a martyr saint, who died on August 18, perhaps in 274, a date that the latest editions of the Roman Martyrology say is uncertain.


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Butler, Rev. Alban, "Saint Felix of Valois, Confessor", ''Lives of the Saints'', Volume XI, 1886". Bartleby.com. Retrieved 2013-10-20.
  2. "About the Trinitarians", The Trinitarians
  3. 1 2 3 "O'Kane, Michael. "St. Felix of Valois." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 6. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1909. 22 Feb. 2013". Newadvent.org. 1909-09-01. Retrieved 2013-10-20.
  4. "Moeller, Charles. "Order of Trinitarians." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 15. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 22 Feb. 2013". Newadvent.org. 1912-10-01. Retrieved 2013-10-20.
  5. "Patron Saints Index: "Saint Felix of Valois"". Saints.sqpn.com. Archived from the original on 2013-10-21. Retrieved 2013-10-20.
  6. "Calendarium Romanum" (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 1969), p. 146
  7. "Martyrologium Romanum" (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2001 ISBN   88-209-7210-7)
  8. "St. Felix de Valois Parish, Bankstown, Australia". Archived from the original on 2013-05-03. Retrieved 2013-05-26.
  9. "St. Felix Catholic Center, Huntington, Indiana". Archived from the original on 2017-02-04. Retrieved 2017-02-12.