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Vita Sancti Alexis




Vita Sancti Alexis

Vita Sancti Alexis Confessoris

Name of the Portuguese translation

Uida de sancto allexo conffessor

Uida de Sancto alexo Confesor (pt.015)


Probably a monk close to Bishop Sergius of Damascus (tenth century).




Hagiographic text about the life of Alexis, a rich young man who, instead of getting married, runs away from home to go to Edessa, where he becomes a prayer and beggar. Later, Alexis’ condition is discovered and he leaves for Rome where he continues his life of begging. This legend probably appeared around the fifth century, in Syria or Greece. In the tenth century, it is known in the West after the story was translated by someone near the Bishop Sergius of Damascus, when he takes care of the Church of St. Boniface in Rome.


Tenth century A.D.


Maybe Rome, where is the Church of St. Boniface is placed.

Extant witnesses

In Portugal there is a witness in Latin (although we not know if it is the text from which the translations were made), in the Códice alcobacense 35/176 (between folios 124v and 129r), in the National Library of Portugal (Correia 1993: 664). According to Pereira (1887-1889: 332), this codex is from the thirteenth or fourteenth century, was written by por Frei Seraphim de Porto de Moz, a monk of the Monastery of Alcobaça and this text can be found between folios 67v and 72r.

According to Nascimento and Meirinhos (1997: 315), the text also exists in the manuscript 348 (S. Cruz 73) of the Municipal Public Library of Porto, and it is dated from the twelfth century (see Meirinhos and Toste, 2000: 103).



Online database:






NASCIMENTO, Aires Augusto e MEIRINHOS, J.F. (dir.) (1997) Catálogo dos códices da Livraria de Mão do Mosteiro de Santa Cruz de Coimbra na Biblioteca Pública Municipal do Porto. Porto: Biblioteca Pública Municipal do Porto.

MEIRINHOS, J.F. e TOSTE, Marco (2000) Incipitário e Índice de fins de texto dos manuscritos de S. Cruz de Coimbra. Porto: Gabinete de Filosofia Medieval.

PEREIRA, F. M. Esteves (1887-1889), Vida de Santo Aleixo segundo os Códices do Mosteiro de Alcobaça. Revista Lusitana 1, 332-345.

CASTELO BRANCO, Ricardo Cerveira de Abreu (1996) Patrística e hagiografia – Subsídios para o estudo da tradição hagiográfica de Santo Aleixo. Tese. Lisboa: Universidade Nova de Lisboa.