Saint Felix of Nola

detail of an ink drawing by Peter Vischer (1751-1823) of Saint Felix hiding from soldiers and being protected by a spiderAlso known as

  • Felix the Martyr
  • Felix of Inpincis
  • Felice….
  • Flin….



Elder son of Hermias, a Syrian soldier who had retired to Nola, Italy. After his father‘s death, Felix sold off most of his property and possessions, gave the proceeds to the poor, and pursued a clerical vocation. Ordained by, and worked with Saint Maximus of Nola.

When Maximus fled to the mountains to escape the persecution of Decius, Felix was arrested and beaten for his faith instead. Legend says he was freed by an angel so he could help his sick bishop. Felix hid Maximus from soldiers in a vacant building. When the two were safely inside, a spider quickly spun a web over the door, fooling the imperial forces into thinking it was long abandoned, and they left without finding the Christians. The two managed to hide from authorities until the persecution ended with the death of Decius in 251.

After Maximusdeath, Felix was chosen as bishop of Nola, but declined, favoring Quintus, a “senior” priest who had seven days more experience than Felix. He worked to farm his remaining land, and gave most of the proceeds to people even poorer than himself. Much of the little information we have about Felix came from the letters and poetry of Saint Paulinus of Nola, who served at a porter at the door of a church dedicated to Saint Felix, and who gathered information about him from churchmen and pilgrims.

Though Felix died of natural causes, he is normally listed as a martyr because of the torture, imprisonment, and privations he experienced in the persecutions.






Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Felix of Nola“. CatholicSaints.Info. 9 November 2020. Web. 23 July 2021. <>