Born in the beginning of the sixteenth century from a poor peasant family, Felix of Cantalice, was a farmer….rustic in his life…rough in his style (he loved to wrestle!)…simple in his style of speeh. After becoming a Capuchin, Brother Felix became a familiar sight in Rome, wandering barefoot through the streets, knocking on doors to seek donations for the poor. He preached in the street, rebuked corrupt politicians and officials, and exhorted young men to stop leading dissolute lives. He also composed simple teaching canticles, and arranged for children to gather in groups to sing them as a way to teach them the catechism. His style was frank and direct. He might tell someone, "I want to correct you." He often reminded Capuchin preachers, "Preach in order to convert people, not to make a name for yourself."
The word felix come s from the latin word that means happy, rich, lucky!
St. Felix gave "voice" to the Gospel by begging for support for the poor. To each donor he would say "thanks be to God" and became known as "Brother Deo Gratias!"
There are two Capuchin friars today named Felix….Brother Felix Shinsky… who keeps the friary running at St. Conrad’s Friary in Lawrence, KS…..and Fr. Felix Petrovsky who has had a long and fruitful ministry as preacher, pastor, teacher. Fr. Felix is at St. Joseph Friary in Hays, KS and in addition to his sacramental ministry is a spiritual director for Secular Franciscans.
Like St. Felix of Cantalice they are giving "voice" to the Gospel today!