St. Alexius Hospital, Dickinson, North Dakota

Up until approximately 2016, the hospital in Dickinson, North Dakota, had been called the St. Joseph’s Hospital.  Then, its name changed to the St. Alexius Hospital.  What was this all about?  What happened to St. Joseph?

When I looked up St. Joseph on the internet, this was Joseph, the husband of Mary, Mary who was the mother of Jesus.  This is about as prestigious as you can get, as far as being a saint.  But there were also about ten other St. Josephs:  St. Joseph of Arimathea, St. Joseph Marello, St. Joseph of Leonessa, St. Joseph of Cupertino…

I don’t know which St. Joseph the St. Joseph’s Hospital was named after.  I don’t know if I could ever find a definitive and correct answer on this.  I will let you know if I do.

Who is St. Alexius?  And why did they change the name of the hospital to the St. Alexius Hospital?  I looked up St. Alexius on the internet.  St. Alexius was the son of a wealthy Roman senator.  As a young adult, St. Alexius fled from his wealthy family in order to live anonymously in poverty.  Eventually, according to Wikipedia, “…he returned to Rome, so changed that his parents did not recognize him, but as good Christians took him in and sheltered him for seventeen years, which he spent in a dark cubbyhole beneath the stairs, praying and teaching catechism to children.

When I read that St. Alexius returned to his parents’ home and lived for seventeen years in a dark cubbyhole beneath the stairs, praying and teaching catechism to children, then I knew that St. Alexius Hospital was the right name for this hospital in Dickinson, North Dakota.  It all made sense then.

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