St Felix of Cantalice Life History
Saint Felix of Cantalice was born in 1515, in Italy to parents who were peasant farmers. There he remained for twenty years, first as a shepherd and then as a farm laborer. He developed the habit of praying while working, and he dreamed of devoting his life to God. Felix worked on the farm until he was 28 years old but had a fatal accident being trampled by oxen and run over by farm machinery but miraculously he survived unhurt.
He gave everything he owned and joined the Capuchin Order of brothers. It took several attempts because of his ill health and lack of education. He was accepted as a lay brother. After two years Felix was sent to a Capuchin monastery in Rome where he was to spend the rest of his life. He begged for food and greeted people Deo gracias meaning thanks be to God. Over time, he became known as in town as brother Deo Grazie.
He cared much about children knowing well their need to learn more about faith, he created easy to learn canticles little Rhymes and stories and poems, and he taught them how to sing them. Felix also became known for his healing miracles, and he did by making the sign of the cross over the sick.
Among his other Grace’s was his gift of Tears. The great St. Philip Neri who was the founder of the Capuchin Order and St. Felix were friends. St. Philip referred Felix as the holiest man alive. St. Felix a simple uneducated man gave excellent advice in even the most complicated situations. Felix slept little, ate what came to hand, attended Mass every morning.