Saturday, November 20, 2010

St Felix of Valois

A charming tale told of St Felix (from the third lesson of his history, formerly read in the second nocturn of his feast):
Illústrem… a beáta Vírgine Matre favórem accépit ; dormiéntibus síquidem cunctis frátribus et ad matutínas preces in pervigílio Nativitátis Deíparæ média nocte recitándas, Deo sic disponénte, non surgéntibus, Felix, de more vígilans et horas prævéniens, chorum ingréssus, réperit beátam Vírginem in médio chori, hábitu cruce órdinis insigníto indútam, ac Cælítibus simíliter indútis sociátam.  Quibus permíxtus Felix, præcinénte Deípara, laudes divínas concínuit ríteque persólvit.  Et, quasi jam a terréstri ad cæléstem chorum evocarétur, instántis mortis ab Angelo cértior factus...
…he received an extraordinary favour from the Blessed Virgin Mary.  During the night watch on the Feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God, while the brethren slept, and in the providence of God did not wake for midnight office, Felix who had been watching, as was his habit, in anticipation of reciting the Office, entered the choir.  There he found the Blessed Virgin in the middle of the choir, robed in the habit and cross of the Order.  Around her was a company of heavenly beings, clothed in similar attire.  Felix took his place among them, and as the Mother of God intoned the Office, sang with them and duly rendered praises unto God.  Then, as if already he was being summoned from an earthly choir to an heavenly one, an Angel informed him that death was at hand...
Having thus sung with Our Lady and the angels on the 8th of September, he passed to heaven, there to sing God's praises with them for evermore, on the 4th of November 1212.

I recall a like, if even more extraordinary story told of St Catherine of Siena: Our Lord was wont to appear to her, and would walk with her up and down her room while reciting the Breviary with her after the manner of a pair of religious – except that when it came to the doxology, she would bow to Him while He proclaimed, Glory be to the Father and to Me and to the Holy Ghost.

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