Nabor and Felix

From Wikipedia
Saints Nabor and Felix
Born3rd century
Mauretania Caesariensis (modern-day Algeria)
Diedc. 303
Laus Pompeia, Italy
Honored inRoman Catholic Church
Major shrineMilan, Italy
FeastJuly 12
Attributestwo young men in military attire; palms

Saints Nabor and Felix were martyred during the reign of Emperor Diocletian in 303. A tomb in Milan is believed to contain their relics.

In the apocryphal "Acts of Saints Nabor and Felix" (which are imitated from the Acts of other martyrs (such as those of Saint Firmus and Saint Rusticus), the two are said to be Roman soldiers from Mauretania Caesariensis serving under Maximian. They were condemned in Milan and executed by decapitation in Laus Pompeia (Lodi Vecchio).


In early 4th-century, their relics were translated, probably by the Bishop of Milan Maternus from their place of interment to a place outside the walls of Milan, placed a few hundred meters northwards the present Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio. A church (Basilica Naboriana) was built over their new tomb, as recorded by Paulinus of Milan in his life of Saint Ambrose. Tradition states that Savina of Milan died while praying at the tomb of Nabor and Felix. Saint Ambrose wrote an hymn about them.

When Emperor Frederick Barbarossa captured Milan in 1158, he gave some of the relics of Saints Felix and Nabor to Rainald of Dassel, archbishop of Cologne, who brought them to his episcopal see.[1] The relics associated with Felix and Nabor are situated in a chapel in Cologne Cathedral.[2] Nabor and Felix are depicted on the 1181 "Shrine of the Three Kings" by Nicholas of Verdun in Cologne Cathedral.[3]

In 1258 their relics were moved to the church of Saint Francis of Assisi that was erected in place of the Basilica Naboriana. On 14-16 April 1798, shortly before the demolition of church of Saint Francis of Assisi, their relics were translated in the Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio. Their relics are placed today in an ancient sarcophagus in the Right-side nave of Sant'Ambrogio Basilica along with the relics of Saint Maternus and of Saint Valeria.[4]

Feast Day[edit]

The Roman Catholic Church recognizes Nabor and Felix as martyr saints, inserting them, under the date of 12 July, in the Roman Martyrology, its official list of saints.[5] They were also included in the Roman Catholic calendar of saints from earlier than the twelfth century.[6] Their feast day was given the rank of "Simple". This was reduced to a commemoration within the Mass of Saint John Gualbert, when his feast day was added to the calendar in 1595. In 1969 their feast day was removed from this calendar, but according to the new rules given in the Roman Missal of the same year, they may now be celebrated everywhere with their own Mass on their feast day, unless in some locality an obligatory celebration is assigned to that day.[7]

The Desventuradas Islands[edit]

The Desventuradas Islands, San Félix and San Ambrosio, were sighted by Juan Fernández in 1574. Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa wrote in 1579 that "they are now called after St Felix and St Ambor (i.e. Saints Felix and Nabor)." However, due to some linguistic corruption, the name of the martyr Ambor (Nabor) became confused with that of the more famous Bishop of Milan Saint Ambrose (San Ambrosio).[8]


  1. ^ The relics of Saint Gregory of Spoleto were also brought there at the same time.
  2. ^ Catholic Culture : Missing Page Redirect
  3. ^ Rosa Giorgi, "Saints: A Year in Faith and Art" (Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2006).
  4. ^ Pasini, Cesare (1990). "Materno di Milano, santo (sec. IV)". Dizionario della Chiesa Ambrosiana. 4. Milano: NED. p. 2112–2114. ISBN 887023102X.(in Italian)
  5. ^ "Martyrologium Romanum" (Libreria Vaticana 2001 ISBN 88-209-7210-7)
  6. ^ "Calendarium Romanum" (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1969), p. 129
  7. ^ General Instruction of the Roman Missal, 355 c
  8. ^ B. Glanvill Corney, "The Isles of San Felix and San Nabor," The Geographical Journal, Vol. 56, No. 3 (September 1920), pp. 196-200
  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company. Cite has empty unknown parameters: |1=, |month=, and |coauthors= (help); Missing or empty |title= (help)CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)

External links[edit]

it:Nabore pl:Nabor i Feliks