Alexian Brothers

The Story of St. Alexius

St. Alexius is the Titular Patron of the Congregation of Alexian Brothers. This drawing depicts the Saint with Alexian Brothers dressed to represent more than 750 years of their history.

St. Alexius was the only son of a wealthy senator of Rome, Euphemian, and his wife, Aglaë. He was born and educated in that capitol in the fifth century. From the charitable example of his parents he developed a compassionate attitude at an early age. Fearing that earthly honors might draw his heart from noble objects, he decided to renounce the advantages of his birth and retire from the world. Having, in compliance with the will of his parents, married a wealthy girl, Marina, he on the very day of the wedding parted from her with her consent. In disguise he traveled to Syria, embraced extreme poverty, and resided in a hut adjoining a church dedicated to the Mother of God at Edessa. Here he lived for seventeen years until an image of our Lady spoke and revealed his holiness to the people, calling him "the Man of God". Thereupon he fled back to his home; his father did not recognize him, but received him as a beggar and gave him employment, allotting a corner under the staircase as his quarters. For another seventeen years he thus lived unknown in his father's house, bearing the ill treatment of other servants in patience and silence. After his death a writing was found upon him, giving his name and family and an account of his life.

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