On his wedding night, St Alexius left his home in Rome secretly, fled to the Far East and lived on alms collected at the gate of Our Lady’s Church. After seventeen years he returned home but no one recognized him. He was treated like a tramp and given a place under a stairway for a bed. After his death a paper found in his hand revealed his identity.
Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and certainly we can carry nothing out. — Gospel
The Imitation of Christ
It is a great honor, a great glory, to serve Thee, and to despise all things for Thee.
The life of St. Alexius reads like a strange story. He is rather to be admired than to be imitated. When he returned home, he was treated with the greatest contempt by those who were his slaves, but contempt and suffering were his joy.
St. Alexius was probably as sensitively human as we are, but he had schooled himself to follow Divine Inspiration no matter what the cost to poor human nature. Forget yourself just for one day and do as many kind acts for others as you can. The experiment will be a revelation to you.
To benefit all, to harm none.