Wednesday, May 18, 2011

This saint would thank his benefactors by a "song of advice" -- its meaning went to the heart of the troubles of each one

                   May 18 --------  St. Felix of Cantalice

    Born in 1515, St. Felix became a Capuchin lay brother at age 20.  For 38 years, he filled the position of questor, one who asks provisions for the monastery. 

During the day, he diligently set about his work seeking funds for the maintenance of the monks, but at night he chose to spend long periods of time praying before the Most Holy Sacrament. His reward for this piety was enormous graces which enabled him to heal the sick and to counsel the afflicted.

His mission was to teach the virtue of gratitude to those who received these graces.  It is very beautiful to consider the manner in which he communicated this gratitude.  With children, he would tell stories which would begin with the words,  "Deo Gratias". 

The children would repeat the words after the manner of St. Felix.  With adults, he would thank donors with a " song of advice".  The words of the song would impart certain counsels which would go straight to the heart of the troubles of each one. 

Thereby, everyone would smile while receiving a correction given with the utmost charity and sagacity.  For this most extraordinary manner, St. Felix became known as "Brother Deo Gratias".

St. Felix also became a source of wisdom for such great men as St. Charles Borromeo and St. Philip Neri, even though he was unable to read.  Both of these saints sought St. Felix's advice because of his extraordinary innocence and piety.  After all, did he not learn from Our Lord, Himself at the foot of the Monstrance?

St. Felix shows us by his example the joy of the service of God.  And God , through St. Felix, shows us that when we serve His Mother, she will bless the joy and smiles of her children.

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