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Noble family of florence that included two saints and two able cardinals.

Alexius, St., b. 1200, d. c. 1310, was one of seven Florentine nobles who met together for devotions. According to legend, the Virgin appeared to them in 1233 telling them to leave Florence. They returned in 1240 and built a church on the present site of SS. Annunziata. Although their followers increased rapidly in the 13th century, recognition of them as an order was delayed. In 1304, when Pope Benedict XI finally approved the servites, Alexius was the only one of the original seven still living. He was beatified in 1717, the others in 1725; all were canonized in 1888.

Feast: Feb. 12 (Seven Holy Founders of the Servites).

Juliana, St., b. 1270, d. 1341, the niece of St. Alexius, founded the Third Order of the Servites of Mary (see mantellate sisters) when she was 14 years old. Because of her mother's advanced age, she did not immediately establish a community. Her followers practiced their devotions in their homes. When her mother died in 1302, they began their community life. She was canonized in 1737.

Feast: June 19.

Lelio, cardinal, d. 1648, studied law at the University of Perugia and obtained a degree from the University of Pisa. He became an advocate in Rome, and Popes Paul V, Gregory XV, and urban viii sent him to govern cities and provinces. Urban preferred his counsel in important questions. When he was appointed nuncio to Brussels in 1635, the government considered him pro-French and refused to receive him. In 1643 he was created a cardinal and sent as legate to Bologna. He was an excellent administrator, lessening dissension among the nobles and assisting the poor. He was one of three cardinals who heard the appeal of the delegates from the University of Louvain concerning the Augustinus of Cornelius jansen.

Alessandro, cardinal, b. 1657, d. 1734, was grandnephew of Lelio. He received his first appointments from Pope innocent xii (16911700). In 1702 Pope clement xi asked him to clear the Roman countryside of persons who made the region unsafe for the inhabitants; in a short time he had restored order. A competent governor of Rome under Clement, he continued in that office during the pontificates of Innocent XIII and Benedict XIII. In 1724 Benedict created him a cardinal and also consecrated his new chapel at the Falconieri villa in Frascati. Both the villa and the palace in Rome are still called by the family name even though they have other owners.

Bibliography: l. pastor, The History of the Popes From the Close of the Middle Ages (London-St. Louis 193861) 29:128, 188; 34:98, 179180. Acta Sanctorum June 4:766773. l. cÀllari, I palazzi di Roma (3d ed. Rome 1944). a. m. rossi, ibid. 11:444445. a. butler, The Lives of the Saints, ed. h. thurston and d. attwater (New York 1956) 1:311313; 2:581583.

[m. l. shay]