Feast day: February 17
Saint Alexis Falconieri was one of the seven founders of the Servants of Mary, or Servite Order. Alexis and six friends joined the Confraternity of the Blessed Virgin in 1225. As they were assembled on the Feast of the Assumption in 1233, the Blessed Virgin appeared to them in a vision. Motivated by their experience, they established a new religious community focused on prayer.
A second vision of the Blessed Mother inspired the group to found the Servants of Mary. All the members in this new community were ordained except for Alexis, who felt that he was unworthy of such a great honor. Instead, he took charge of the order’s material and financial duties, humbly begging on the streets when funding was tight.
Alexis was the only founding member of the Servites still living when the order received approval from Pope Benedict XI in 1304. Saint Alexis Falconieri and his companions were canonized in 1888.
(Image in public domain)