One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Chiefly in plural A member of a Roman Catholic lay congregation having St Alexius as its patron, which was founded in Flanders in the 14th cent. and devotes itself to caring for the sick. Also known as Cellites: compare Cellite.
Of, belonging to, or designating this congregation.
Mid 18th century. From post-classical Latin Alexiani, plural from the name of St. Alexius (also Alexis), the congregation's probably legendary patron saint + -ani.
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