Pope Alexander I

Pope Alexander I was born with the name Alexander, in Rome, Italy. He was the pope of the Roman Catholic Church from c. 107 to c. 115. His predecessor was Evaristus while his successor was Pope Sixtus I. There have been some claims that Pope Alexander I suffered martyrdom under the Roman Emperor Trajan or Adrian, although this is questionable.

During his papacy, Pope Alexander initiated many activities, introduced a number of significant innovations in the Catholic Church and made incredible contributions to its legacy. First, according to the Liber Pontificalis, it was Pope Alexander I who included the narration of the Last Supper in the Catholic Mass. However, there have been opposition from both Catholic and non-Catholic experts that this is not true, saying that it was just written for the sake of providing a papacy pattern of the Catholic Church.

Second, it is Pope Alexander I who is said to have started the use of blessing water mixed with salt for the purification of Christian homes against evil influences. On the other hand, Pope Alexander I is also said to have introduced the custom of mixing water with the sacramental wine. However, these two claims are also said to be inaccurate, just like the ones which claim that Pope Alexander I ordained six priests, two deacons and five bishops, yet these positions had not been established yet during his papacy. Despite all these oppositions, it is definite and true that Pope Alexander I together with others played a big role in the general governance of the Roman Catholic Church and that he played an important role in the evolution of the current liturgical and administrative policies of the Church.

In addition, Pope Alexander I is also said to have had a vision of the infant Jesus. Nevertheless, this has also been opposed and termed as inaccurate. Some experts have only said that the only activity associated with Pope Alexander I in historical sources about the time of his alleged vision of the infant Jesus is that Pope Alexander I were martyred at this period. Some of the information that claimed Pope Alexander I having been linked with the vision of infant Jesus was removed from books of Catholic history in 1960 by Pope John XXIII. In most cases, the “acts” of Pope Alexander I are said not to be genuine. However, his contribution to the Catholic Church during his papacy cannot be ignored. He played his role as pope during his reign and many regarded him as a successful pope who did not cause collisions in the church.

Pope Alexander I died in c.115 in Rome, Italy. His feast day is celebrated on 3rd May. His relics are said to have been transferred to Freising in Bavaria, Germany in AD 834.