Pope Felix III

Pope Felix III (died 1 March 492) was Pope from 13 March 483 to his death in 492. His repudiation of the Henotikon is considered the beginning of the Acacian schism. He is commemorated on March 1.[1]

Pope Saint

Felix III
Bishop of Rome
Mosaic of Felix IV (III) in Santi Cosma e Damiano, Rome, Italy (527–530)
Papacy began13 March 483
Papacy ended1 March 492
SuccessorGelasius I
Personal details
BornRome, Western Roman Empire
Died1 March 492
Rome, Kingdom of Odoacer
Other popes named Felix
Papal styles of
Pope Felix III
Emblem of the Papacy SE
Reference styleHis Holiness
Spoken styleYour Holiness
Religious styleHoly Father
Posthumous styleSaint


Felix was born into a Roman senatorial family - possibly the son of a priest. He was married and widowed before he was elected as pope. He fathered two children, and through his son Gordianus (a priest) was thought to be great-great-grandfather to Pope Gregory I, and possibly related to Pope Agapetus I.[2][3]

It was also said that Felix appeared as an apparition to another of his descendants, his great-granddaughter Trasilla (an aunt of Pope Gregory I), and asked her to enter Heaven , and "on the eve of Christmas Trasilla died, seeing Jesus Christ beckoning".[4]

Eutychian heresy

Eutyches was a archimandrite at Constantinople. In his opposition to Nestorianism he seemed to have taken the opposite view to extremes. In an effort to diffuse controversy regarding the teachings of Eutyches, in 482 Emperor Zeno, at the suggestion of Acacius, the Patriarch of Constantinople, had issued an edict known as the Henoticon. The edict was intended as a bond of reconciliation between Catholics and Eutychians, but it caused greater conflicts than ever, and split the Church of the East into three or four parties.[2] The Henotikon endorsed the condemnations of Eutyches and Nestorius made at Chalcedon and explicitly approved the twelve anathemas of Cyril of Alexandria, but in attempting to appease both sides of the dispute, avoided any definitive statement on whether Christ had one or two natures.

Felix's first act was to repudiate the Henoticon. He also addressed a letter of remonstrance to Acacius, Bishop of Constantinople. The latter proved refractory and sentence of deposition was passed against Acacius. [5]

As the Catholics spurned the edict, the emperor had driven the Patriarchs of Antioch and Alexandria from their sees. Peter the Tanner, had intruded himself into the See of Antioch, and Peter Mongus, had seized that of Alexandria. In his first synod, Felix excommunicated Peter the Fuller, who had deposed Martyrius of Antioch and assumed his See in 470. In 484, Felix also excommunicated Peter Mongus, who had taken the See of Alexandria, an act that brought about a schism between East and West that was not healed until 519.[2]

Aftermath of the Vandals

In Arian Africa the Vandal persecutions of Genseric and his son Huneric had driven many Catholics into exile. Huneric was a fervent adherent to Arianism.[6] When peace was restored, numbers of those who through fear had fallen into heresy and had been rebaptized by the Arians desired to return to the Church. On being repulsed by those who had remained firm, they appealed to Felix who convened a synod in 487, and sent a letter to the bishops of Africa, expounding the conditions under which they were to be received back.[7]

Felix is often quoted as saying “Not to oppose error is to approve it; and not to defend truth is to suppress it, and, indeed, to neglect to confound evil men—when we can do it—is no less a sin than to encourage them.”

See also


  1. ^ http://catholicsaints.info/pope-saint-felix-iii/
  2. ^ a b c Coleman, Ambrose. "Pope St. Felix III." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 6. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1909. 6 Apr. 2013
  3. ^ R.A. Markus, Gregory the Great and his world (Cambridge: University Press, 1997), p. 8
  4. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Sts. Trasilla and Emiliana" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  5. ^ Monks of Ramsgate. “Felix III”. Book of Saints, 1921. CatholicSaints.Info. 26 February 2017
  6. ^ Victor of Vita, History of the Vandal Persecution, 2.3-6 (John Moorhead, trans.), Liverpool: University Press, 1992, p. 25
  7. ^ “Pope Saint Felix III”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 2 October 2015

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainColeman, Ambrose (1909). "Pope St. Felix III" . In Herbermann, Charles (ed.). Catholic Encyclopedia. 6. New York: Robert Appleton.


External links

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Gelasius I

Year 483 (CDLXXXIII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Aginantius without colleague (or, less frequently, year 1236 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 483 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.


Year 484 (CDLXXXIV) was a leap year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Venantius and Theodoricus (or, less frequently, year 1237 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 484 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.


Year 487 (CDLXXXVII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Boethius without colleague (or, less frequently, year 1240 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 487 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.


Year 492 (CDXCII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Anastasius and Rufus (or, less frequently, year 1245 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 492 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

Acacian schism

The Acacian schism, between the Eastern and Western Christian Churches lasted 35 years, from 484 to 519 AD. It resulted from a drift in the leaders of Eastern Christianity toward Miaphysitism and Emperor Zeno's unsuccessful attempt to reconcile the parties with the Henotikon.

Acacius of Constantinople

Acacius (? – 26 November 489) was the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from 472 to 489. Acacius was practically the first prelate throughout the Eastern Orthodoxy and renowned for ambitious participation in the Chalcedonian controversy.Acacius advised the Byzantine emperor Zeno to issue the Henotikon edict in 482, in which Nestorius and Eutyches were condemned, the twelve chapters of Cyril of Alexandria accepted, and the Chalcedon Definition ignored. This effort to shelve the dispute over the Orthodoxy of the Council of Chalcedon was quite in vain. Pope Felix III saw the prestige of his see involved in this slighting of Chalcedon and his predecessor Leo's epistle. He condemned and deposed Acacius, a proceeding which the latter regarded with contempt, but which involved a schism between the two sees that lasted after Acacius's death. The Acacian schism lasted through the long and troubled reign of the Byzantine emperor Anastasius I, and was only healed by Justin I under Pope Hormisdas in 519.The Coptic Orthodox Church celebrates The Departure of St. Acacius, Patriarch of Constantinople on the 30th of the Coptic month of Hatour.

Agapitus of Palestrina

Saint Agapitus (Italian: Agapito) is venerated as a martyr saint, who died on August 18, perhaps in 274, a date that the latest editions of the Roman Martyrology say is uncertain.According to his legend, 16-year-old Agapitus, who may have been a member of the noble Anicia family of Palestrina, was condemned to death, under the prefect Antiochus and the emperor Aurelian, for being a Christian. He was thrown to the wild animals in the local arena at Palestrina. The beasts refused to harm him, and he was beheaded.

Caecina Decius Maximus Basilius

Caecina Decius Maximus Basilius (floruit 483–500), was a Roman politician. He was the first consul appointed under Odoacer's rule (480), and afterwards was Praetorian prefect of Italy. He is best known for presiding over the papal election of Pope Felix III.

Euphemius of Constantinople

Euphemius of Constantinople (died 515) was Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople (490–496). Theophanes calls him Euthymius. Prior to his appointment, Euphemius was a presbyter of Constantinople, administrator of a hospital for the poor at Neapolis, unsuspected of any Eutychian leanings, and is described as learned and very virtuous.

Fravitta of Constantinople

Fravitta (d. 490), also known as Fravitas, Flavitas, or Flavianus II, was the patriarch of Constantinople (489–490).


The Henotikon ( or in English; Greek ἑνωτικόν henōtikón "act of union") was a christological document issued by Byzantine emperor Zeno in 482, in an unsuccessful attempt to reconcile the differences between the supporters of the Council of Chalcedon and the council's opponents. It was followed by the Acacian schism.

Paulinus (consul 498)

Flavius Paulinus (floruit 498–511) was a Roman politician during the reign of Theodoric the Great, and was appointed consul for the year 498.

Photinus of Thessalonica

Photinus (Greek: Φωτεινός, romanized: Phōteinós) of Thessalonica was a disciple of Acacius, Patriarch of Constantinople (471–489) and a deacon in the Church.

Pope Felix III (13 March 483–492) excommunicated Acacius for his heretical theories. Thus the foundation was laid for the Acacian Schism between the Eastern and Western Christian Churches.Photinus was sent to Pope Anastasius II (496–498), probably by a supporter of Acasius, to plead his case. This Pope was, however, a moderate and tried to resolve the conflict by allowing the heretic deacon, who had been labelled an Acacian by his predecessor Pope Gelasius I, to partake in holy communion. This peace offering did not sway Photinus, but did result in suspicions among certain groups of Christians in the West about the views and opinions of Pope Anastasius.

Pope Anastasius died shortly after this visit in 498 and many Christians in the West perceived his death as a sign of God thus deepening the growing divide between the Western and Eastern Christian Churches even further, which resulted in an additional schism, the so-called Laurentian Schism.

Pope Felix

Pope Felix could refer to:

Pope Felix I (269–274)

Antipope Felix II (355–365)

Pope Felix III (483–492)

Pope Felix IV (526–530)

Antipope Felix V, Amadeus VIII, Duke of Savoy (1439–1449)

Pope Peter III of Alexandria

Pope Peter III of Alexandria also known as Mongus (from the Greek μογγός mongos, "stammerer") was the 27th Pope of Alexandria & Patriarch of the See of St. Mark.

Roman Catholic Diocese of Tolentino

The Diocese of Tolentino was a Roman Catholic diocese in Italy in the fifth century and early sixth century. The name of the diocese was revived, and its territory added to the Diocese of Macerata-Tolentino in 1586 by Pope Sixtus V.

Santi Nereo e Achilleo

Santi Nereo e Achilleo is a fourth-century basilica church in Rome, Italy, located in via delle Terme di Caracalla in the rione Celio facing the main entrance to the Baths of Caracalla. The Cardinal Priest of the Titulus Ss. Nerei et Achillei was Theodore Edgar McCarrick until his resignation from the cardinalate on 28 July 2018.


The diocese of Tetci (Latin: Dioecesis Tetcitana) is a suppressed and titular see of the Roman Catholic Church. An exact location of the town is now lost to history but it was in today's Tunisia.Tecti was an ancient bishopric of the Roman province of Byzacena.The only known bishop of this African diocese is Rustico, who took part in the synod assembled in Carthage in 484 by the Arian King Huneric the Vandal, after which Rustico was exiled. Three years later a council called by Pope Felix III (487) had an African bishop named Rustico participate, but without mentioning the place of residence; may be the bishop of Tetci or the bishop of Tipasa of Numidia.Today Tetci survives as a titular bishopric with the current bishop, Luis Fernando Ramos Pérez, auxiliary bishop of Santiago de Chile.

Zeno (bishop of Mérida)

Zeno, a Greek, was the Bishop of Mérida in the late fifth century. Though he had traditionally been ascribed the see of Seville, it has now been shown that he was in fact metropolitan of Lusitania and thus bishop of the provincial capital of Mérida. The dates of his episcopate are unknown besides the date of 483 and the fact of a surviving letter from Pope Felix III (483–492).Pope Simplicius was so impressed by his administration of his diocese that he desired to install him as papal vicar in southern Spain and strengthen his position there. It is possible that Simplicius was responding to the conquests of the Suevi in Lusitania. Several diocese had been lost to the barbarians and the pope's letter refers vaguely to the terminos (boundaries) of the Apostles. The provincial boundaries of Lusitania may have been under consideration and Simplicius may have wished to augment Zeno's authority to deal with the Suevi.According to an inscription dated to 483 and surviving in a ninth-century copy, Zeno and Salla, a Gothic official, repaired the walls of Mérida and the bridge over the Guadiana there.

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