Pope Felix III

Felix III
Papacy began 13 March 483
Papacy ended 3 January 492
Predecessor Simplicius
Successor Gelasius I
Personal details
Birth name ???
Born ???
Rome, Western Roman Empire
Died 492
Rome, Kingdom of Odoacer
Other popes named Felix
Papal styles of
Pope Felix III
Reference style His Holiness
Spoken style Your Holiness
Religious style Holy Father
Posthumous style Saint

Pope Saint Felix III (though as Antipope Felix the "II" was not actually pope, he could also be called "Pope St. Felix II") was pope from 13 March 483 to 3 January 492. His repudiation of the Henoticon is considered the beginning of the Acacian schism.


Felix was born into a Roman senatorial family and was a great-great-grandfather of Pope Gregory I.[1] He was a widower with two children when he was elected to succeed Pope Simplicius in 483.

It is said that Felix appeared as an apparition 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]

As Pope

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 that brought about a schism between East and West that was not healed until 519.[3]

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.”


  1. R.A. Markus, Gregory the Great and his world (Cambridge: University Press, 1997), p. 8
  2.  Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Sts. Trasilla and Emiliana". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  3.  Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Pope St. Felix III". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Gelasius I


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