Franciscan Saints
20th October

The Servant of God Alexander of Hales

Confessor First Order

Alexander of Hales Article from the 1911 Encyclopedia

ALEXANDER OF HALES (ALEXANDER HALENSIS), surnamed DOCTOR IRREFRAGABILIS, THEOLOGORUM MONARCHA and FONS VITAE, a celebrated English theologian of the 13th century, was born in Gloucestershire. Trained in the monastery of Hales he was early raised to an archdeaconry. He went, like most of the scholars of his day, to study at Paris, where he took the degree of doctor and became celebrated as a teacher. It is generally held that he taught Bonaventura, Duns Scotus and Thomas Aquinas, but a comparison of dates makes it clear that the two latter could not have been his pupils and that the statement about Bonaventura is open to doubt. In 1222 (or 1231, see Denifle, Chartul. Univers. Paris, Paris, 1889, i. 135)

Alexander entered the order of Minorite Friars and thenceforward lived in strict seclusion. He refused, however, to renounce his degree of doctor, and was the first of his order who continued to bear that title after initiation. He died in 1245 and was buried in the convent of the Cordeliers at Paris.

His most celebrated work was the Summa Theologiae (Nuremberg, 1452; Venice, 1576; Cologne, 1611), undertaken by the orders of Pope Innocent IV. and approved by Alexander IV., on the report of seventy learned theologians, as a system of instruction for all the schools in Christendom.

The form is that of question and answer, and the method is rigidly scholastic. Of small intrinsic value, it is interesting partly as the first philosophical contribution of the Franciscans who were afterwards to take a prominent part in medieval thought (see SCHOLASTICISM), and partly as the first work based on a knowledge of the whole Aristotelian corpus and the Arabian commentators.

See  Wadding, Script. ord. minor. (Rome, 1650) for his method,

B. Haureau, Hist. de philos. scholast. (Paris, 1880)
F. Picavet, "Abelard et A. de H." in the Bibliothieque de l'ecole des hautes-etudes
(2nd series, Paris, 1896, pp. 222-230)
 Schwane, Dogmengesch. (Freiburg, 1882)
 A. Harnack, Dogmengesch. (1890)
 J. Endres, "Des A. von H. Leben und psvchol. Lehre" in Philos. Jahrb. (i. Fulda, 1888, pp. 24-55, 203-296)
 also Vacant's Dict. de theologie catholique, vol. i. 

This article is from the 1911 edition of an encyclopedia, which is out of copyright here in the U.S. It is in the public domain

Also see -

Prayer of the church
(At Prime)

O God, who didst choose the immaculate body of the blessed Mary
for Thy dwelling, grant, we beseech Thee, that we who are
shielded under her protection, may by Thy grace join with gladness in
her commemoration.
Through the same Christ Our Lord  Who liveth ´┐Żand reigneth

with Thee
 and the Holy Spirit,  One God, now and forever.  Amen

1: Article downloaded from, Medieval History, (c) 2013, Alexander of Hales Article from the 1911 Encyclopedia,, downloaded 4 September  2013 < web: >  

Prayer: Habig, Marion A., O.F.M., 1959, ed., The Franciscan book of Saints, Franciscan Herald press, Chicago, Illinois


Last edited 13/09/2017 10:11 
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