Page:Historical Works of Venerable Bede vol. 2.djvu/175

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103
OF VENERABLE BEDE.

THE

LIFE OF THE HOLY CONFESSOR

SAINT FELIX.

Parentage of Felix.The blessed triumph of St. Felix, which, with God’s aid, he achieved in Nola, a city of Campania, has been described by Paulinus, bishop of that same city, most beautifully and most amply in hexameter verse; but as this is adapted rather to poetical than to plain readers, it has seemed good to me, for the benefit of many, to explain the same history of the holy confessor in prose, and thus to imitate the industry of that man, who translated the martyrdom of the blessed Cassianus from the metrical work of Prudentius into simple and common language.

Saint Felix was born in Nola, in Campania, of a Syrian father, whose name was Hermias, and who coming from the East settled at Nola, and there begot a son Felix, to whom he left a rich worldly inheritance, to which however he himself preferred the gift of heritage promised us in Heaven. He had a brother named Hermias after his father, to take part in the family patrimony, but he had adopted a line of life repugnant to the character of Felix, and became unworthy of eternal happiness. For he studied only worldly goods, and preferred to become a soldier of Cæsar rather than of Christ; whereas, on the contrary, Felix (the Happy), following up the mystery of his name by his actions, devoted himself to the service of God from his boyhood, and showing forth fresh virtues every day, first undertook the