Seven Florentine merchants retired in solitude to live a common life marked by penance and prayer. The Seven Founders were noted for their special devotion to Our Lady, and for a close adherence to the gospel ideal of fraternal love and service to one another and to others, especially the poor and the sick.
They left their homes and distributed their personal possessions among the churches and the poor. They moved into a small house outside the city walls where they continued to minister to the spiritual and material needs of those who came to them for help.
Their names were Buonfiglio dei Monaldi (Bonfilius), Giovanni di Buonagiunta (Bonajuncta), Amadeus de Amidei (Bartolomeus), Ricovero dei Lippi-Ugguccioni (Hugh), Benedetto dell' Antella (Manettus), Gherardino di Sostegno (Sostene), and Alessio de' Falconieri (Alexius).
St. Alexius lived to be a hundred years old. He died on February 17, 1310. The Seven Holy Founders is the only group to share a common feast day.