Monday, 17 July 2017

Saint Alexius. Confessor. Feast Day 17 July.


Text (unless otherwise stated) is taken from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal,
which is available from ST. BONAVENTURE PRESS

Saint Alexius.
   Confessor.
   Feast Day 17 July.

Semi-Double.

White Vestments.



English: Saint Alexius.
Polski: św. Aleksy, Człowiek Boży (XVII w.).
Date: 17th-Century.
Source: http://days.pravoslavie.ru/Images/ii134&393.htm
Author: Unknown.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Saint Alexius was born at Rome, towards 350 A.D., of a wealthy family; his father being the Senator Euphemian. Guided by The Holy Ghost, he renounced his patrimony and piously visited, as a Pilgrim, the Sanctuaries of the East. He died in the 5th-Century A.D., under the Pontificate of Pope Innocent I.

His body was buried in the Church which bears his name on Mount Aventine, Rome. He is honoured there with Saint Boniface (Feast Day 14 May), to whom the Church had originally been dedicated.

Mass: Os justi.


English: The Minor Basilica of Saint Alexius, 
Rome, Italy.
Italiano: Santi Bonifacio ed Alessio all'Aventino.
Photo: 1 September 2013.
Source: Own work.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The following Text is taken from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia.

Saint Alexius, or Alexis of Rome, or Alexis of Edessa, was an Eastern Saint, whose Veneration was later transplanted to Rome. The relocation of the cult, to Rome, was facilitated by the belief that the Saint was a native of Rome and had died there.

This Roman connection stemmed from an earlier Syriac legend, which recounted that, during the Episcopate of Bishop Rabbula (412 A.D. - 435 A.D.), a "Man of God", who lived in Edessa, Mesopotamia as a beggar, and who shared the alms he received with other poor people, was found to be a native of Rome after his death.

The Greek version of his legend made Alexius the only son of Euphemianus, a wealthy Christian Roman of the Senatorial class. Alexius fled his arranged marriage to follow his Holy Vocation. Disguised as a beggar, he lived near Edessa, in Syria, accepting alms even from his own household slaves, who had been sent to look for him, but did not recognise him, until a miraculous vision of The Blessed Virgin Mary singled him out as a "Man of God."


English: Chapel of Saint Alexius, 
the Minor Basilica of Saint Boniface and Saint Alexius, Rome.
Italiano: Chiesa dei santi Bonifacio e Alessio all'Aventino: 
cappella di sant'Alessio nel sottoscala.
Photo: 9 January 2008.
Source: Own work.
Author: Lalupa.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Fleeing the resultant notoriety, he returned to Rome, so changed that his parents did not recognise him, but, as good Christians, took him in and sheltered him for seventeen years, which he spent in a dark cubby-hole beneath the stairs, praying and teaching Catechism to children.

After his death, his family found writings on his body, which told them whom he was and how he had lived his life of Penance from the day of his wedding, for the love of God.

Saint Alexius' cult developed in Syria and spread throughout the Eastern Roman Empire by the 9th-Century. Only from the end of the 10th-Century did his name begin to appear in any Liturgical Books in the West.


English: Minor Basilica of Saint Alexius and Saint Boniface, 
Rome, Italy.
Italiano: Santi Alessio e Bonifacio
Rome. Italia.
Photo: 11 July 2006.
Source: Own work.
Author: Panarjedde (FlagUploader).
(Wikimedia Commons)

Since before the 8th-Century, there was, on the Aventine, in Rome, a Church that was dedicated to Saint Boniface. In 972 A.D., Pope Benedict VII transferred this almost-abandoned Church to the exiled Greek Metropolitan, Sergius of Damascus. The latter erected, beside the Church, a Monastery for Greek and Latin Monks, soon made famous for the austere life of its inmates. To the name of Saint Boniface, was now added that of Saint Alexius, as Titular Saint of the Church and Monastery, now known as Santi Bonifacio e Alessio.

It is evidently Sergius and his Monks who brought to Rome the Veneration of Saint Alexius. The Eastern Saint, according to his legend a native of Rome, was soon very popular with the folk of that City, and this Church, being associated with the legend, was considered to be built on the site of the home that Alexius returned to from Edessa.

Saint Alexius is mentioned in the Roman Martyrology, under 17 July, in the following terms: "At Rome, in a Church on the Aventine Hill, a man of God is celebrated under the name of Alexius, who, as reported by tradition, abandoned his wealthy home, for the sake of becoming poor, and to beg for alms unrecognised."


English: Minor Basilica of Saint Boniface and Saint Alexius,
Rome, Italy.
Italiano: Roma - Chiesa dei Ss. Bonifacio e Alessio.
Photo: October 2008.
Source: Own work.
Author: MarkusMark.
(Wikimedia Commons)

While the Roman Catholic Church continues to recognise Saint Alexius as a Saint, his Feast Day was removed from The General Roman Calendar in 1969. The reason given was the legendary character of the written life of the Saint. The Catholic Encyclopedia article, regarding Saint Alexius, remarked: "Perhaps the only basis for the story is the fact that a certain pious ascetic, at Edessa, lived the life of a beggar and was later Venerated as a Saint."

The Tridentine Calendar gave his Feast Day the Rank of "Simple", but, by 1862, it had become a "Semi-Double" and, in Rome itself, a "Double". It was reduced again to the Rank of "Simple", in 1955, and, in 1960, became a "Commemoration".


English: A 1674 theatre programme for Saint Alexis the Man of God,
presented in Kiev and dedicated to Tsar Alexis of Russia.
Русский: Театральная программка спектакля "Алексей, человек Божий",
поставленного в Киеве в 1674 году в посвящение царю Алексею Михайловичу.
Source: Scanned from И. Л. Бусева-Давыдова. Культура и искусство
в эпоху перемен. - М., Индрик, 2008, ISBN 978-5-85759-439-1 p.109.
Author: Unknown.
(Wikimedia Commons)

According to the Rules in the present-day Roman Missal, The Saint may now be Celebrated everywhere on his Feast Day, with a "Memorial", unless in some locality an obligatory Celebration is assigned to that day.

The Eastern Orthodox Church Venerate Saint Alexius on 17 March. Five Byzantine Emperors, four Emperors of Trebizond, and numerous other Eastern European and Russian personalities, have borne his name; see Alexius.

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