In the main square of the small Portuguese village of
Balasar, some forty miles north of Oporto, stands a small chapel dedicated to
the Holy Cross. Erected in 1832, it commemorates the mysterious appearance that
year of a cross in the village. The parish priest of Balasar at that time, Don
A. G. de Azevedo, recorded the event in a report addressed to Rev. Dr A. P. de
Azevedo Loureiro of the Archdiocese of Braga.
« I write to advise you of an inexplicable occurrence in this
parish of St Eulalia of Balasar. Last Corpus Christi, while the people coming to
the morning Mass were passing the road which crosses the little hill of Calvary
they noticed a cross laid out on the ground. The earth which formed this cross
was of a lighter colour than the surrounding soil. Dew had fallen all around,
except on the cross. I myself went to brush away the dust and loose earth that
formed the cross, but the design reappeared in the same place. I then ordered a
considerable quantity of water to be poured over it and on the surrounding
ground. But after this had drained away, the cross reappeared once more and has
remained there since. The staff of the cross measures 15 hands and the
transverse measures 8 hands… »
Many people flocked to see this strange phenomenon and
venerated it with flowers and offerings of money. The latter went towards the
building of the small chapel mentioned above. The cross remains to this day and
still defies attempts to obliterate it.
In the writings of the Blessed, Alexandrina da Costa, there
are three references to this cross the last of which was dated 14 January l955.
While in ecstasy, she reputedly heard Our Lord say,
« A century ago, I showed the cross to this beloved village,
the cross which comes to await the victim. O Balasar, if you do not respond!...
Cross of earth for the victim who was taken from nothing.... Victim who is
welcomed by God and who has always existed in his eternal designs. Victim of the
world, but much favoured by heavenly blessings, who has given all to Heaven and
for the love of souls accepts all. Trust, believe, my daughter, I am here! All
your life is written and sealed with a key of gold... »