St. Felix

S. Felice
St. Felix, according to an ancient tradition, was the first bishop and martyr of Nola. The story of his martyrdom can be found in some medieval passiones. Those texts recount that Felix, since the age of fifteen, showed miraculous virtues, in particular the gift of healing, the fight against demons, and courage in proving his faith. He accomplished many voyages up to Persia, eventually coming back to the city of Nola. Here, invoking the name of Christ, he freed two possessed men, Demosthenes and Alexander, from the spirits bothering them. This extraordinary event raised the astonishment of bystanders, including that of the city governor, Archelaus, who ordered his capture. Led in a temple of the city, the soldiers tried in vain to force him to worship the Empire deities, but the young Christian implored God to make the temple collapse, having his wish granted. At the sight of that prodigy, Archelaus himself requested to be baptized, and Felix was acclaimed by the people as Bishop of Nola. Afterwards, under the Empire of Valerian, he was condemned by the officer Marcian to decapitation, which took place on the 15th November 259. That very night a Greek priest, Elpidios, tried to give the body of St. Felix a respectable burial but, discovered by Marcian’s soldiers, he was forced to throw the body in a well, the place where, now, the crypt of Nola Cathedral is located.