Faith & Life


13TH CENTURY - February Feast


In 1233, seven Florentine laymen — two married, two widowed, three single, all well-known merchants and members of a Marian confraternity — abandoned homes, jobs and wealth for a life of poverty, prayer and penance at Monte Senario, where they built a chapel and hermitage. Within a few years, they had formed the Order of Friar Servants of Mary, or Servites, a mendicant order that received formal papal approval in 1304. The seven founders, jointly canonized in 1888, are: Bonfilius, Bonajuncta, Amadeus, Hugh, Manettus, Sostene and Alexis. Alexis, who out of modesty refused ordination, served the order in various ways as a lay brother; he outlived the other founders and reportedly died at age 110.