This work is a reconstruction of
the salient moments in the life and spirituality of Blessed Alexandrina, taken
from fragments of her writings, originally translated by the Italian couple
Chiaffredo and Eugénie Signorile, from typewritten copies in Portuguese used in
the Cause of her Beatification. The fragments have been selected and arranged
chronologically in the form of an autobiography.
Signs and symbols – the phrases
collected from the writings of Alexandrina or from other witnesses are printed
in the wide left margin.
The source of all the writings,
and their date, are quoted together with the writings.
The signs used are:
C (Letters to Padre Pinho)
C” (Letters to Padre Humberto
Cd (Various letters)
S (Feelings of the soul)
NoC (On the Calvary of Balasar,
a biography written by Padre Pinho)
C G (Jesus Christ in Alexandrina,
by Padre Humberto Pasquale)
Summ (Positio of the Introduction
of the Cause)
Positio (Evaluation of the Virtues
The sign (...) indicates that a
section of the original has been omitted for the sake of brevity. Without
parenthesis these omissions are in the original text.
This new biography, or rather, autobiography,
of Blessed Alexandrina, has been compiled by Eugénie Signorile, with a view
to making this great mystic, and her message of the urgency of reparation,
A. The Sacred Heart of Jesus and
the Immaculate Heart of Mary, co-redemptrix and mediatrix, call us to make
reparation for our offences against them. And to make up for that love which
sinners refuse them.
The Mother of Sorrows, the being
associated most closely with reparation for the sacrificial agony of our only
Redeemer, wants to share her reparatory sufferings with other souls willing to
offer themselves as victims in consoling the suffering Heart of Christ. Thus the
Sacred Heart, when appearing to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, and revealing His
“Behold the Heart that has loved
men so much and has had nothing in return but ingratitude! … You, at least, can
make reparation!” (Autobiography, Nr. 53). And she offered herself as a victim
of love to the sanctity of the justice of God.
B. Rapidly surveying the history
of spirituality we observe:
- In the 18th century
the great expiatory mystic St. Veronica Giuliani stands out.
- The servant of God Antonio
Rosmini taught the offering of one’s own blood along with the Blood in the
chalice during the Mass as a pledge of one’s own willingness to collaborate as
- The message of the weeping
Virgin at La Salette is an impressive appeal to souls to adopt an attitude of
- Saint Teresa of the Jesus
Child and of the Holy Face offered herself as victim to His merciful love.
- In Fatima the Virgin showed
her Heart encircled with thorns (13th June) and asked the little
Shepherds repeatedly if they wanted to offer themselves to God “in an act of
reparation for the sins by which He is offended” (13th May) “in
reparation for sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary”. (13th
The little Shepherds answered
this call to reparation with extreme generosity, even with rigorous penances
such as thirst and the wearing of a penitential rope.
- In 19th and 20th
centuries orders and congregations dedicated to reparation were founded, e.g.
the Reparatory Servants of Mary, the order of the Holy Face.
- Mary Pierina De Micheli, on a Holy
Saturday, heard the voice of the crucified Jesus, indicating the kiss of peace
among of the worshipers in the church of S. Peter in Sala, and saying to her:
“Nobody gives Me a kiss of love
on the Face, to atone for the kiss of Judas?”
To repair means to
restore, to give back, to make up for the lack of love owed to God the Father,
and the Son and the Holy Spirit. The scale that is weighed down on one side with
the weight of sin, is balanced on the other with one single act of love.
To repair means to bring a piece
of torn cloth back to its original weave, to return a fractured organism to its
This goes some way to explaining the mystery of
Purgatory, about which Alexandrina spoke often, offering herself in reparation
for suffering souls.
D. It was in this sense that
Jesus chose and called Alexandrina “the greatest victim”.
This expression - if we don’t
want to interpret it as an absolute superlative – is true of all victim souls,
because each one has an individual, a unique greatness.
E. All martyrs are reparatory
souls, and the 20th century had more martyrs than all the preceding
centuries. Mystical reparatory Victims, contemporaries of Alexandrina are:
Marthe Robin, Teresa Neumann, St. Padre Pio, the venerable Lucia Mangano, Teresa
Musco, and the venerable Mother Speranza. Such people, like others spread
throughout the world, are, moreover, stigmatized. They almost constitute a
mystical community of reparation. Among the mystical reparatory souls emerges
Mother Carmela of the Cross, the Poor Clare mystic who founded the Community,
“Little Victims of the Desires of Jesus and of the Immaculate Heart of
F) The mission of Alexandrina is
summarized in this phrase: “I offer myself as victim to the Lord… to suffer,
to love, to make reparation”.
And Jesus confirms:
“The Tabernacle, the Rosary and my victims, the
victim of this Calvary, are enough for pardon and peace to be given to the
Like a pygmy contemplating a
giant, I reflected on some points concerning the great figure that is Blessed
Alexandrina, urged by the strong desire of enkindling in the reader a holy need
to imitate her virtues and propagate her message.
But as I was incapable of
adequately communicating what I saw, I thought I would let Alexandrina speak for
herself, and so I prepared a composition with excerpts of her writings, ordered
chronologically. Thus was born this “almost autobiography”. I hope, however,
that one day a scholar, full of faith and with a pure heart, might write the
beautiful and definitive biography that this great Beata deserves.
I trust everything to the
Immaculate Virgin, whose heart is aflame with love and trust.
8th December of 2005
Alexandrina first saw the light
of day on 30th March 1904, but “her sign” had already appeared in the
land in 1832! Let us look closer at this claim.
On the morning of 21st
June 1832, the feast of Corpus Christi, the worshipers at the church in that
part of Balasar called Calvary were astonished and awed to find a great cross
formed of two mounds of soil on the ground. The earth of this cross was of quite
a different colour from that of the surrounding earth. They swept and threw
water on it but this only served to darken the colour, which it still presents
to pilgrims today.
From the testimony of the parish
priest of that time we know that people started to come to see it, offering
flowers and leaving donations.
With this money a chapel was
built to shelter the “Holy Cross of Balasar”.
A Confraternity was born.
Little more than a century
later, Jesus himself disclosed the secret of that cross, speaking to Alexandrina
in three ecstasies.
Here are some of His phrases:
A little more than a century ago
I ordained that this parish be privileged with a cross as a sign of your
crucifixion. The cross was ready, it wanted only a victim. But now I have chosen
one to fulfil my divine plans; it is you.
Evil increased, the wave of the
crimes reached its height. It was time for the victim to be immolated. You came,
it was the world sacrificing you. S (5-12-47)
The world! The world! Its
sinners have crucified Me and they crucify you too, my daughter.
Courage! Have compassion on
them, save them! Remain on the cross, and always with joy. S (6-2-48)
Even in the midst of atrocious
torments, her continual joy is the biggest miracle, the one that testifies to
her sanctity. It will be her trademark: she will be called “the Saint of the
All things are proof of love!
Oh, 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 eyes.
Victim of the world, but so
enriched with heavenly wealth, who has given all to Heaven and, for love to
souls, accepts all! S (21-01-55)
As we read we will see how
perfect a definition this is of our subject.