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Monday, July 17, 2017
St. Alexius
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SemiDouble (1954 Calendar): July 17

Alexius was the son of one of Rome’s noblest families. Through his exceeding love for Jesus Christ, he, by a special inspiration from God, left his wife still a virgin on the first night of his marriage, and undertook a pilgrimage to the most illustrious Churches all over the world. For seventeen years he remained unknown, while performing these pilgrimages, and then his name was revealed at Edessa, a town of Syria, by an image of the most holy Virgin Mary. He therefore left Syria by sea and sailed to the port of Rome, where he was received as a guest by his own father who took him for a poor stranger. He lived in his father’s house, unknown to all, for seventeen years, and then passed to heaven, leaving a written paper which revealed his name, his family, and the story of his whole life. His death occurred in the Pontificate of Innocent I.

The following is taken from The Liturgical Year by Abbot Gueranger:

Although we are not commanded to follow the Saints to the extremities where their heroic virtue leads them, nevertheless, from their inaccessible heights, they still guide us along the easier paths of the plain. As the eagle upon the orb of day, they fixed their unflinching gaze upon the Sun of Justice; and, irresistibly attracted by his divine splendor, they poised their flight far above the cloudy region where we are glad to screen our feeble eyes. But however varied be the degrees of brightness for them and for us, the light itself is unchangeable, provided that, like them, we draw it from the authentic source. When the weakness of our sight would lead us to mistake false glimmerings for the truth, let us think of these friends of God; if we have not courage enough to imitate them, where the commandments leave us free to do so or not, let us at least conform our judgments and appreciations to theirs: their view is more trustworthy, because farther reaching; their sanctity is nothing but the rectitude wherewith they follow up unflinchingly, even to its central focus, the heavenly ray, whereof we can scarcely bear a tempered reflection. Above all, let us not be led so far astray by the will-o’-the-wisps of this world of darkness, as to wish to direct, by their false light, the actions of the saints: can the owl judge better of the light than the eagle?

Descending from the pure firmament of the holy Liturgy even to the humblest conditions of Christian life, the light which led Alexius to the highest point of detachment, is thus subdued by the Apostle to the capacity of all: “If any man take a wife, he hath not sinned, nor the virgin whom he marrieth; nevertheless, such shall have tribulation of the flesh, which I would fain spare you. This, therefore, I say, brethren: the time is short; it remaineth, therefore, that they also who have wives, be as if they had none; and they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as if they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; and they that use this world, as if they used it not: for the fashion of this world passeth away.”

Prayer:

O God, it is a joy for us to celebrate yearly the feast of Your blessed confessor Alexis. may we who commemorate his birthday also imitate his example. Through our Lord . . .

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