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Alexander of Jerusalem, St.


Bishop and martyr; d. Caesarea, Palestine, 250251. One of the great bishops of the early Church, he was trained in Alexandria, where he was a pupil of Pantaenus (d. c. 200) and clement of Alexandria and where he became the friend of origen. After becoming bishop of an unknown see in Cappadocia c. 200, he was imprisoned c. 204 during the persecution of Septimius Severus (d. 211) and not released until 211. In the following year he was made coadjutor and later successor of the aged Narcissus (d. 222), Bishop of Jerusalem, both unusual proceedings at that early date. At Jerusalem he founded the library later used by eusebius of caesarea in preparing his great history of the early Church. When Origen was condemned by the bishop of Alexandria, Alexander invited him to Jerusalem, ordained him, and put him in charge of the teaching of Scripture and theology in the diocese. Alexander died in prison at Caesarea during the persecution of Decius (d. 251).

Feast: March 18 and Jan. 30.

Bibliography: eusebius, Historia ecclesiastica 6.8, 11, 14, 19, 39, 46. g. bareille, Dictionnaire de théologia catholique 1.1:763764.

[j. l. grassi]

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