Pope Felix III

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Pope Saint Felix III was pope from March 13, 483 to 492.


He was born into a Roman senatorial family and is said to have been a great-great-grandfather of Pope Gregory I. Nothing certain is known of Felix until he succeeded Simplicius.

His first act was to repudiate the Henoticon, a deed of union originating with Patriarch Acacius of Constantinople and published by Emperor Zeno with the view of allaying the strife between the Miaphysite Christians and Chalcedonian Christians. He also addressed a letter of remonstrance to Acacius. The latter proved refractory, and sentence of deposition was passed against Acacius.

In his first synod, Felix excommunicated Peter the Fuller who had assumed the See of Antioch against Papal wishes. In 484, Felix also excommunicated Peter Mongus, who had taken the See of Alexandria—an act which brought about a schism between East and West that was not healed until 519.[1]

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.”[citation needed]


Felix was a widower with two children when he was elected to succeed Pope Simplicius in 483. It is thought that he was an ancestor of Pope Gregory the Great.

It is said that Felix appeared to one of his descendants, his great-granddaughter Trasilla (an aunt of Pope Gregory I), and asked her to enter Heaven through death, and on the eve of Christmas Trasilla died, seeing Jesus Christ beckoning.[2]


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