[St. Pachomius Library]

St. Alexander I, Pope of Rome

I/II Centuries
Pope from c. 107 to c. 116, St. Alexander was a Roman and is said to have been a student of Pliny the Younger. Little is known about Alexander, although legends say that he converted his jailer, St. Quirinus, and his daughter, St. Balbina. Alexander is also supposed to have introduced the custom of blessing houses with salt and water, although modern scholars say this is a pagan custom. He is also supposed to have introduced the commemoration of the Last Supper into the mass, although scholars say this is an anachronism. The story that he was beheaded under Trajan or Hadrian is thought to be a confusion of the pope with a martyr named Alexander.

Karen Rae Keck


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