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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Sts. Felix and Adauctus

Ordinary Time: August 30th
The Glorification of St. Felix & St. Adauctus

In the year 304, Felix was living piously and happily, doing the work of a Christian priest in Rome, when he was captured, along with many other Christians at the start of the persecutions under the Emperor Diocletian. First, he was savagely tortured. Then, he was sentenced to be beheaded for no torture sufficed to make him give up his Christian beliefs.

Felix was led to the place of execution. So noble and apparently unconcerned did he seem at the prospect of imminent death that one of the crowd who had so far kept secret his own Christianity, shouted out: 'I, too, follow and believe the same commandments that this man confesses. I, too, follow and believe in the same Jesus Christ. And I, too, will give away my life to further his cause.' The Roman soldiers rushed to seize the man, and he, too, was beheaded alongside Saint Felix. Unfortunately no-one even gathered his name. He was therefore dubbed 'Adauctus', which simply means 'the additional one'. Both martyrs were reverently buried in the cemetery of Commodilla on the Ostian Way. By the time the list of martyrs known as the Depositio Martyrum was compiled in the year 354, they were simply known as 'Felix and Adauctus'.

About thirty years later, Pope Damasus ordered that their tomb be restored and he put an inscription over it.

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