Also known as
Alexander of Comana
Alexander of Cuma
Well-born, educated, and erudiate 3rd century Greek with philosophical training. Convert to Christianity. To escape his pagan roots and live for God, he left his native area and became a charcoal burner at Comana, Pontus, Asia Minor. Noted for being exceptionally ragged and filthy.
When Saint Gregory Thaumaturgus oversaw a council of laymen and religious to pick a bishop for Comana, he told them to ignore outward appearance, and choose the most spiritual person among them. Alexander, dressed in his work rags, and covered in soot and dirt, was dragged forward, apparently as a joke. He tried to play dumb, but when Gregory ordered him to be honest, he admitted his education, his study of the Scriptures, and his life of living as a "fool for Christ." Scrubbed and robed, the council questioned him, recognized his spiritual wisdom, and chose him as their bishop.
Well-loved by his people, he died a martyr in the persecutions of Diocletian.
burned alive c.275 at Comana