There are more than a few saints named Alexander: Pope Alexander I, Pope Alexander IV, and Pope Alexander VI. (Popes Alexander III and VII were beatified but not canonized, and Alexander IV was an antipope–a person who is seen by some cardinals and kings as having a legitimate claim to the office of Pope; that was in the 3rd-15th centuries). But the topic of today’s blog is Alexander of Jerusalem.
Alexander was born in the 2nd century AD and was known as an intelligent man of great mildness. He studied at a renowned Christian school in Alexandria, and was the first bishop of Cappadocia. He was imprisoned during the Christian persecutions for his heartfelt professions of faith, and endured repeated torture. When released, he made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem where several church leaders had visions telling them to make him bishop. As bishop, he was criticized for allowing Orijen, a layman, to preach in church before he was ordained a priest; and was applauded for establishing a theological library. Alexander was imprisoned a second time for not renouncing his faith and eventually died in chains in the year 251 from torture. His feast day is March 18th.
My first born son, Alexander, is also known as an intelligent, mild-mannered person although his field of expertise is Sports Information not theology. He too studied at a very reputable school–the Ohio State University–where his art work in a freshman elective art class was displayed and photographed by the professor who implored him–unsuccessfully–to change his major to art. He was student manager of the OSU Women’s Basketball team during his four years, and interned in the OSU Athletics Information Department upon graduation. He was hired by Arizona State University where he stayed nine years. He came back to Ohio and helped with the family manufacturing business during his father’s illness, and has been offered sports information positions which–with his father’s improved health– he is now considering. During his time at ASU he was recruited as a freelance stats person for football Bowl Games and college basketball Playoff Games; and since returning to Ohio, has added Bengals home games, as well as local college and high school games. He is a walking library of sports stats.
Like Alexander of Jerusalem, my Alex is a spiritual person who is active in his church–and not just on Sundays. He is known for helping in any capacity he can.
My Alex was named for a beloved relative, and I didn’t know until I wrote this blog that his birthday (also my father’s and my sister’s birthdays) fell on his patron saint’s feast day–March 18th. With all the similarities, I definitely think he was divinely named.
Image from Yahoo, accessed 12/2/15 at https://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=A0LEVxYHVF9W7.wAhQRXNyoA;_ylc=X1MDMjc2NjY3OQRfcgMyBGZyA21jYWZlZQRncHJpZAM0TUtLREYucVJWYVlLN2N6dEhIa1FBBG5fcnNsdAMwBG5fc3VnZwMxMARvcmlnaW4Dc2VhcmNoLnlhaG9vLmNvbQRwb3MDMgRwcXN0cgNTYWludCBBbGV4YW5kZXIEcHFzdHJsAzE1BHFzdHJsAzI4BHF1ZXJ5A3NhaW50IGFsZXhhbmRlciBvZiBqZXJ1c2FsZW0EdF9zdG1wAzE0NDkwODgwNDY-?