These seven men from some of the most prosperous families in Florence, set themselves up as hermits on Monte Senario, not far from the city in the year 1233. They had a great devotion to Our Lady.
Their names were: Bonfilius Monaldi, John Bonaiuncta, Manettus dell Antella, Amadeus degli Amidei, Hugh Uguccione, Sosthenes Sostegno and Alexis Falconieri.
Their community grew into an order of mendicant friars, the Servants of Mary (Servites) which is still at work in many parts of the world today.
Their first leader was Bonfilius. One of their most well know members was Alexis, whose modesty made him refuse Holy Orders. He helped found a community at Siena, working as a laybrother. Alexis outlived the other seven and is said to have died at the age of 110, in 1310. Their most famous church, the Annunziata in Florence, is still served by the order today. The group were canonised in 1887.