Monday, 19 November 2012

St. Felix of Valois and the White Scapular

Tomorrow, 20th. November is the feast of St. Felix of Valois, co-founder of the Trinitarian order. This year marks the 800th. Anniversary of his death.

[From the St. Andrew's Daily Missal, 1945 edition]

St. Felix of Valois founded with St.John of Matha the Order of the Most Holy Trinity for the ransom of captives. He belonged to the royal family of France and distinguished himself as a child by his compassion for those in trouble.
Wishing to pit aside any claim to the throne, he renounced all he possessed and retired to a desert, near Meaux, where he was joined by St. John of Matha. In consequence of a vision, they left their solitude and went to Rome. [Pope]Innocent III approved the Institute founded by them for the Redemption of captives. They were ready to suffer hunger and thirst and all sorts of ill-treatment to deliver their brethren. On their return to France, they presented themselves before [King]Philip-Augustus who was most generous towards them. The Lord of Chatillon gave them a place called Cerfroi, where they founded the monastery which was the principal one of their order. St. Felix gave up his soul to God in 1212.

The vision mentioned above was given to St. John of Matha during his first Mass (c. 1193) and involved Christ between two chained captives, one a Moor, and one a Christian. The Christian captive carried a staff topped with a red and blue cross. This cross was adopted as the badge of the Trinitarians, and today forms part of the White Scapular of the Trinity, which permits those who wear it to share the spirtiual favours of the order, and to gain associated Indulgences.

The original charism of the Trinitarian Order was to liberate Christians taken into captivity by the Moors and to glorify the Trinity. St. Felix's feast might therefore be a good time to remember in our prayers those Christians living in some parts of the islamic world who are today being persecuted for their Faith.

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