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St. Alexis Falconieri

Saint Alexis Falconieri


Alexis Falconieri was born to a noble merchant in Florence, Italy, in the year of Our Lord 1200. He was deeply devoted to Our Lady, and joined the Laudesi, a Marian confraternity of Florentine noblemen and merchants. In 1233 he and six other members of the Laudesi received a vision of Our Lady that led to the founding of the Order of the Servants of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or the Servite Order. Alexis zealously pursued the mendicant life of the order, and out of humility he never became a priest, unlike the other six founders. When Alexis was seventy, his niece St. Juliana Falconieri was born, and Alexis became her close spiritual guide. In the early 14th century, Juliana founded the Mantellate Sisters, a third order of Servite nuns. Around the same time, the Servite Order itself finally gained full papal approval, after many decades of uncertainty. Alexis was the only founder still living. He died at the venerable age of one hundred and ten, and the Infant Jesus visited him on his deathbed. In the modern calendar all Seven Servite Founders are honored today; in the traditional calendar their feast is celebrated on February 12th, having been moved from the 11th to make room for Our Lady of Lourdes.


Traditional Roman Martyrology for February 17th

AT Rome, the passion of St. Faustinus, whom forty-four others followed to receive the crown of martyrdom.

In Persia, during the persecution of Decius, the birthday of blessed Polychronius, bishop of Babylon, who, being struck in the mouth with stones, stretched out his hands, lifted up his eyes to heaven, and expired.

At Concordia, the holy martyrs Donatus, Secundian, and Romulus, with eighty-six others, partakers of the same crown.

At Caesarea, in Palestine, St. Theodulus, an aged man, in the service of the governor Firmilian. Moved by the example of the martyrs, he confessed Christ with constancy, was fastened to a cross, and thus by a noble victory merited the palm of martyrdom.

In the same place, St. Julian, a Cappadocian, who, because he had kissed the relics of the martyrs, was denounced as a Christian, and led to the governor, who had him consumed with a slow fire.

In the territory of Terouanne, St. Silvinus, bishop of Toulouse.

In Ireland, St. Fintan, priest and confessor.

At Florence, blessed Alexius Falconieri, confessor, one of the seven Founders of the Order of the Servites of the blessed Virgin Mary, who, in the one hundred and tenth year of his age, terminated his blessed career in the consoling presence of Jesus Christ and the angels.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

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