And today we celebrate...

Friday, May 18
Saint Felix of Cantalice

Known Affectionately as Brother “Deo Gratias”



Capuchin Franciscan Lay Brother (1515-1587)

His life

+ Born to a pious family in Cantalice, Italy, Felix worked as a shepherd throughout his child to help support his family.

+ Despite his lack of formal education, he was accepted as a lay brother by the Capuchin Franciscans in 1543. Four years later, he was sent to Rome to serve as questor (the friar assigned to beg for alms) and stayed there for the rest of his life.

+ Known as a man of prayer and reverence, he was loved by the poor and consulted by theologians and Church leaders. He was a friend of Saint Philip Neri and an advisor to Saint Charles Borromeo, both of whom considered him to be a living saint.

+ Many who knew him called him “Brother Deo Gratias,” recalling the greeting he offered to everyone he met: Deo Gratias!—Thanks be to God!

+ Felix especially loved working with children and his simple spirit endeared him to them. He taught them simple songs which he used to help teach catechism.

+ Saint Felix of Cantalice died on May 18, 1587, and was canonized in 1712.

Worth knowing

In 1855 Blessed Maria Angela Truszkowska, a Polish charity worker, established a new religious community, named for Saint Felix of Cantalice: the Congregation of Sisters of St. Felix of Cantalice (more commonly known as the “Felician Franciscans”).

For reflection

The poor will eat their fill;

those who seek the Lord will offer praise.

Their hearts will enjoy life forever.”—Psalm 22:27


O God, who gave Saint Felix

to the Church and to the Franciscan Family

as an example of gospel simplicity and innocent of life,

grant, we pray,

that, following in his footsteps,

we may, with joy, love and follow only Christ.

Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

Access our archives of daily saint biographies here
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.