ALEXIS 307 ALEXIUS to succour the plague-stricken, without taking any vows or adopting a rule of life. One of their most obvious actions being tlic burial of those who ilied from the plague; they were known as "CuUites" (Lat. celta. a cell, and hence, a grave), l.ater on, tliey chose;i.s their patron, Alexius, a saint who served many years in a hospital at Kdessa in Syria; ■inil ihL'iicclurth thev callod tlicinselves the Alexian r.ruthers. They read rapidly iliiough Germany, lirabant, Flanders, and other countries. As they were also styled LollhnTilen (Old Germ. loUon, to sing softly) from their chants for the dead, they have con- sequently been some- times confounded witli the Wyclitian sect of heretics, the Lollards. They did not escape calumny and persecution, as appears from the Bull".d.udientiain Nostram" (2 Dec, 1377) which Gregory XI sent to the Ger- man bishops, especi- ally tho.se of Col- ogne, Trier, and Mainz, forbidding annoyance of the Cellites and enjoining punish- ment for their persecutors. This was followed by Hulls of a similar tenor from Honiface IX (7 Jan., 1396), Eugenius IV (12 May, 1431), Nicholas V, and Pius II. In 1469, the mother-house at Aix-la- Chapelle voiced the general feeling of the Brothers in asking the Prince Bishop of Li^gc, Louis de Bourbon, to raise that hou.se to a convent of the Order of St. .ugustine. This request was granted, and Father Dominicus Brock and five of the Brotlicrs took the solemn vows of religious. This step and the revised constitution of the Order were confirmed by Pius I.K (12 Sept., 1870). The .lexian Brothers have four hospitals in the United States. The first was built in Chicago, 1866; <lcstroyed by the great fire, 9 Oct., 1871, and rebuilt the following year. The second, erected at St. Louis in 1S69, covers an acre with its departments for the insane, nervous disea.ses, and inebriates. The third is at Oshkosh, Wis. (1880). The fourtli was built at Elizabeth, N. J., on land given for that purpo.se by Right Kev. Bislion Wigger. Competent surgeons and physicians attentl to the patients, anil the Brothers arc luirses and do the housework of the hospitals. Bishop V'aughan of Salford, ICngland (later. Cardi- nal), invitetl the .Vlexian Brothers to take charge of a new home and hospital in his diocese, which led to their establishing themselves in England in June, 1875. Dr. Lacy, Bishop of .Middlesborougli, secured them for his dioce.se in 1884. In 1885, the Brothers cstablislicd a Province of their Order and a novitiate in the I'nitcd Kingdom. The latter, first attached to St. Mary's Convent, Newton Heath, Manchester, was later transferred to Twj-ford .Vbbey, near Ealing, which the .lexian Brothers had purcha.scd. In England they ilo not have any a.sylums for the care of the insane, a.s in Germany, Belgmm, and .merica. The English establishments arc only for the aged and infirm. Stkki.k, Monnalrrift and Heliffiot» flowtrn of Great Britain and Inhmt (I^n.li.n. 1903). 10-13; cf. Brirf llitloru of the AUzian Brothers (Cbicaso). _ tit-, John J. a Becket. I.— 20 Alexis Falconieri, S.int, b. in Florence, 1200; d. 17 February, 1310, at Mount Senario, near Flor- ence. He was the .son of Bernard Falconieri, a mer- chant prince of Florence, and one of the leaders of the Republic. His family belonged to the Guelph party, ami opposed the Imperialists wlienever they could consistently with their political principles. Alexis grew up in the practice of the most profound humility. He joined the Laude.ti, a pious con- fraternity of the Blessed Virgin, and there met the six future companions of his life of sanctity. He was favoured with an apparition of the Mother of God, 15 August, 1233, as were these companions. The seven soon afterwartls founded the Order of the Servites. With consistent loyalty and heroism Alexis at once abandoned all, and retired to La Camarzia, a house on the outskirts of the town, and the following year to Mt. Senario. With character- istic humility, he traversed, as a mendicant, in quest of alms for his brethren, the streets of the city through which he had lately moved as a prominent citizen. So deep and sincere was liis humility that, though he lived to the great age of one hundred and ten years, he always refused to enter the priesthood, of which he deemed himself unworthy. The duties of our Saint were confined principally to the material needs of the various communities in which he lived. In 1252 the new church at Cafaggio, on the outskirts of Florence, was compileted under his care, with the financial a.ssistance of Chiarissimo Falconieri. The miraculous image of the Annunciation, still highly venerated in Italy, had its origin here. St. Juliana Falconieri, his niece, was trained in sanctity under his personal direction. The influence e.xerted on his countrymen by .Iexis and his companions may be gathered from the fact that in a few jears ten thousand persons had enrolled themselves under the banner of the Blessed Virgin in the Servite Order. At his death he was visited by the Infant Jesus in visible form, as was attested by eye-witnesses. His body rests near the church of the .Annunciation, in Florence. Clement XI declared .lexis worthy of the veneration of the faithful, 1 December, 1717, and accorded the same honour to his six companions, 3 July, 1725. Annul. Ord. Serv. B. M. Virg. (Florence, 1729); Ledodx. llifl. of the Snen Holy Foundern (London, 1889); Acta SS. Feb. 17 (Paris, 1880). Augustine McGinnis. Alexius, S.iNT AXD Confessor. — According to the most recent researches he was an Eastern saint whose veneration was transplanted from the Byzan- tine empire to Rome, whence it spread rapidly throughout western Christendom. Together with the name and veneration of the Saint, his legend was made known to Rome and the West by means of Latin versions and recensions based on the form current in the Byzantine Orient. This process was facilitated by the fact that according to the earlier Syriac legend of the Saint, the "Man of God", of Edessa (identical with .St. Alexius) was a native of Rome. The Greek legend, which antedates the ninth century and is the basis of all later versions, makes .lexius the son of a distinguished Roman named Euphemianus. The night of his marriage he se- cretly left his father's house and journeyed to Edessa in the Syrian Orient where, for seventeen years, he led the life of a pious ascetic. As the fame of his .sanctity grew, he left Edessa and returned to Rome, where, for seventeen years, he dwelt iis a beggar under the stairs of his father's palace, unknown to his father or wife. After his death, assigned to the year 417, a document was found on his body, in which he revealed his identity. He was forthwith honoured as a saint and his father's house was con- verted into a church pl.accd under the patronage of Alexius. In this expanded form the legend is
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