After the legend, Alexius lived in the 4./5. Century and was son of the Roman senator couple Euphemius and Aglaia. His father was a merciful man and regularly prepared three tables for poor and homeless people.
His desire was that Alexius should marry a woman of distinguished origin. He did it. But in the wedding night he left her with her agreement and returned the marriage ring to her. His way led him to Edessa, the today's Urfa in Turkey, where he lived as an ascetic giving all his begged gifts to the poor.
Legend from the 10. Century
A legend from the 10. Century reports that it lived 17 years as a beggar in front of the church in Edessa. When the sexton got to know by coincidence that this beggar was a holy man, he arranged his admiration. But Alexius fled and got - led by a storm - back to Rome, where his father took him up in his house, as a begging person he did not recognize. There he lived for several years under stairs. When he was dying he finally revealed with a letter who he was. His parents, employees and many other citizens were dismayed.
In Saint Clemente in Rome there is a Fresco from that from the 11. Century. There it is shown that at his dying bed even the Pope himself had appeared.
Its admiration attained its highest point in the late Middle Ages and in the baroque time. In the eastern church he is still today very strongly admired.
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