Alexander of Comana, St.
ALEXANDER OF COMANA, ST.
Also called Alexander Carbonarius ("the charcoal burner"); first bishop of Comana in Pontus; martyred c. 275. According to gregory of nyssa (Patrologia Graeca 46:933–940), St. gregory thaumaturgus, when invited to organize a Christian community and preside over the election of a bishop in Comana, rejected all the proposed candidates, pointing out that the apostles had been poor and ordinary men. Someone proposed Alexander, and Gregory questioned him to discover that beneath the grime of his trade he was an educated man of good birth, who had given up his possessions to follow Christ. Alexander was consecrated. Later, he was burned to death, probably under Aurelian (270–275). As the patron of charcoal burners, he was first inserted into the Roman martyrology by baronius.
Feast: Aug. 11.
Bibliography: g. eldarov, Bibliotheca sanctorum 1:776–777.
[m. j. costelloe]