Biography of St. Alexis Falconieri
Feast Day: February 17
Saint Alexis Falconieri was born in Florence, Italy in the year 1200. His father was Bernard Falconieri, a wealthy merchant from Florence. His family was politically opposed the Imperialists. Alexis was taught humility from his youth and he became a wealthy noble. He joined the Laudesi, a Confraternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1225, where he met the six other holy men with whom he would be united for the work of Mary. Alexis with his companions experienced a vision of the Blessed Mother on August 15, 1233. The seven soon afterwards founded the Order of the Servites. Alexis left his life behind, and retired to La Camarzia, a house at the edge of the town, and the next year, he moved to Mt. Senario.
He begged in the streets for alms in the city where he had once been a wealthy and noble citizen. His humility was so great that for his entire life, he refused to enter the priesthood, thinking of himself unworthy of the honor. His work in the Servites included making sure that the members of order had their material needs met. In 1252, he managed the building of a new church at Cafaggio. He guided his niece, Saint Juliana Falconieri, in spiritual direction.
Saint Alexis Falconieri died at the age of 110 on February 17, 1310. His remains are interred near the church of the Annunciation, in Florence. He was beatified on December 1, 1717 by Pope Clement XI and canonized along with the other six founders of the Servite Order on January 15, 1888 by Pope Leo XIII.