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Sts. Felix, Fortunatus, & Achilleus

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Feastday: April 23
Death: 212

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Felix, a priest, and two deacons, Fortunatus and Achilleus, were sent by St. Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, at the beginning of the third century, to Valence in the district afterwards known as the Dauphine' to evangelize its inhabitants. They all three suffered martyrdom in the reign of Caracalla about the year 212. That is all that is actually known about these saints, but legend has supplied additional details. According to their reputed "acts", after they had by their preaching and miracles, converted a great proportion of the heathen people, they were arrested. From prison they were liberated by angels, at whose bidding they cast down the idols in the temples, destroying with hammers the images of Mercury and Saturn and a valuable amber statue of Jupiter. For this they were promptly seized: their legs were broken, they were tortured on wheels and subjected by day and by night to acrid and suffocating fumes. As they survived all these torments they were eventually beheaded. An even more fantastic legend than that related, connects St. Felix, St. Fortunatus and St. Achilleus with Valencia in Spain. The remains there venerated are certainly those of other saints. Their feast day is April 23.

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