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Saint of the Day: St. Alexander of Bergamo

Soldier martyred for his faith


© José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro | CC BY-SA 4.0

Martyr(d. ca. 303)

His life

+ Alexander is one of those early martyrs whose life is shrouded in legend. He seems to have been a soldier who was killed for his faith in Christ sometime near the beginning of the fourth century.

+ Various traditions related to Alexander relate that he was a member of the famous Theban Legion (a legion of Roman soldiers from Egypt who converted en masse to Christianity and who were martyred with their leader, Saint Maurice, in 286). Alexander escaped martyred and was able to flee to safety.

+ Recognized as a Christian and arrested in Milan, he was able to escape again and fled to Como, where he was captured. Brought back to Milan, he was condemned to be beheaded.

+ Saved by miraculous events, he finally fled to Bergamo where he became a preacher and converted many to the Christian Faith, including Saints Firmus and Rusticus.

+ Saint Alexander was apprehended a final time and suffered martyred on August 26, 303. He is honored as one of the patron saints of Bergamo.

For prayer and reflection

Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”—John 8:12

Spiritual bonus

On this day we also remember Saint Tarcisius. A Roman youth who was martyred because of his refusal to surrender the Eucharist, Saint Tarcisius died in the third century and is honored as the patron saint of those making their First Communion.


Almighty and merciful God, who brought your Martyr blessed Alexander to overcome the torments of his passion, grant that we, who celebrate the day of his triumph, may remain invincible under your protection against the snares of the enemy. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(from The Roman Missal: Common of Martyrs—For One Martyr)

Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

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