Starting the morning off with God
is the key to strength and success in your day!
St. Felix of Nola (d. 250 A.D.) was born in Italy near Naples, the son of a Syrian soldier. After his father's death, Felix gave his goods to the poor and entered the priesthood. He was ordained by his bishop, St. Maximus of Nola, and served as his assistant. When persecution against Christians increased under Roman Emperor Decius, St. Maximus hid in the desert while St. Felix was captured, tortured, and thrown into prison. While in prison an angel appeared to Felix and freed him from his chains, bidding him to go to the aid of his bishop, St. Maximus, who was at the point of starving to death. After assisting the bishop, Felix fled from his captors by hiding in a hole. Miraculously, a spider quickly spun a web over the hole and prevented St. Felix from being caught by his pursuers. Felix continued hiding in a dry well for six months until the persecution abated. Afterwards he declined an offer to become the bishop of Nola following the death of St. Maximus. Felix's property was confiscated in the persecutions, so he lived his remaining years farming a few acres of rented land for his own sustenance as well as alms for the poor. His feast day is January 14.
The month of January is traditionally dedicated to the Holy Name of Jesus. After the Blessed Virgin Mary conceived by the Holy Spirit, the angel Gabriel appeared to St. Joseph and told him that the Child’s name should be called Jesus, meaning “God Saves.” According to Jewish law, on the 8th day after his birth a male child was to be circumcised, receive his name, and become a full member of God’s covenant people. According to the old Roman liturgical calendar, the Feast of the Circumcision of Jesus was celebrated on January 1st, eight days after Christmas, the same day that He was given His sacred name. Currently we celebrate the Solemnity of the Mother of God on January 1st and honor the Holy Name of Jesus on January 3rd. For Catholics, Jesus’ sacred name is the object of a special devotion symbolized by the monogram “IHS,” (sometimes called a Christogram), which is the first three letters of the Greek spelling of His name.
O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day for all the intentions of your Sacred Heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, for the salvation of souls, the reparation of sins, the reunion of all Christians, and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father this month. Amen.
Almighty and everlasting God, have mercy upon Thy servant, Pope Francis, our Supreme Pontiff, and direct him, according to Thy loving kindness, in the way of eternal salvation; that, of Thy gift, he may ever desire that which is pleasing unto Thee and may accomplish it with all his might. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
Our Father. Hail Mary.