Alexander was born around the year 250 in Alexandria, Egypt. In his early years, he survived as a priest during violent persecutions that took the lives of many Christians in the Roman empire. In 313, he was named bishop of Alexandria, which was a center of learning in the ancient world.
A strain of thought from a teacher named Arius was becoming popular at the time. His ideas declared that Jesus was not “consubstantial with the Father.” Alexander, seeing this distortion of the faith, excommunicated Arius in 321. The heresy grew, and schism threatened.
Alexander organized the first council of Nicea in 325, when the Church addressed our understanding of Jesus and articulated it in the creed that we pray on Sundays today.
In addition to his intellect and faithfulness, his contemporaries admired Alexander as a lover of God who was just and eloquent. He died in 328 and his relics rest in the reliquary chapel of the Basilica