Chapter 4



Chapter 4


Immediate preparation   

Fr Pinho wrote in No Calvário de Balasar (Ch 15): 

After March 1938 Alexandrina started to live in an almost habitual state of terror, abandonment, oppression and agony, what we might call a prolonged Gethsemane. 

Sometimes there were long hours, and finally entire nights, of indescribable anguish. The Lord showed her at the same time the great punishments that would fall on the earth. (World War II was to be the next).  

In the Autobiography we read:

From that time I began to feel great agonies in my soul and throughout this anguish it almost seemed that I was falling into frightful abysses. The justice of the Eternal Father felt upon me! (A, p. 45) 

The victim soul continues, in time, the mission of Christ’s redemption. Like Christ, therefore, she feels the sins for which she must atone hanging over her, and also, as a consequence, the rigours of divine justice.

When somebody suffers like this the conviction that such suffering is advantageous to the salvation of souls, provides little comfort. But much more atrocious is the suffering of feeling oneself identified with the sinner, and therefore the object of God’s anger! And Satan isn’t shy about making his presence felt! We know that because of the way Jesus was tempted during the agony in the Garden. Alexandrina was strongly tempted to suicide: 

(...) to end my life, cost what it may. To drown myself, to put my head under a train; in the end, I imagined that my life was insupportable.  C (17-9-38)

However, all the terrors of the victim state, the anguish, the darkness, do not stifle the love of the Alexandrina for her Jesus. On the contrary, this love burns even more ardent, more luminous, more heroically generous, as is attested to in many of her letters to her director. 

I pass the days the most holy will of my loved Jesus would have me pass them (...) To love Him until dying of love. C (4-2-38)  

When I feel a surge of desire to love Our Lord, it seems me that I go up to Heaven faster than a rocket. C (11-7-38) 

Oh my Jesus, I want to die incinerated in your love. Give me the strength to follow You on the cross and to live with You in the Blessed Eucharist. C (16-7-38)   

“To follow You on the cross and to live with You in the Blessed Eucharist” are two aspirations that dictate her whole life and will fulfil it. 

The 3rd October 1938   

During the night of 2/3 October, if the agony of my soul was great, so also was the suffering of my body. I started to vomit blood and to felt horrible pains. I continued vomiting and, for five consecutive days, I took no food. It was in the midst of this suffering that I took part in the crucifixion for the first time. (She calls her reliving of the Passion, “crucifixion”). What a horror I felt in me! What fear and terror! …  (A, p. 46)  

Fr Pinho (who was present by divine dispensation) remembered the morning of 3rd October: 

After Holy Communion, she endured great mystical afflictions during which she saw herself with Christ in Gethsemane. He again extended an invitation:  

— Do you accept, my daughter, a Calvary that I only give to my most beloved spouses?  And, when He heard the generous ‘yes’ repeated, Jesus announced to her, as He had the evening before, that after midday her passion would begin. It would take her from the Gethsemane to Golgotha, and would finish at 3 pm.

Later she would remain with Him in intimate converse, assuaging his pains, until 6 pm. (NoC, Ch. 15)    

In the Autobiography a final invitation and a brief description of the Passion can be read. 

After midday, Our Lord came to invite me thus:  

— Look, my daughter, Gethsemane is ready and also Golgotha, do you accept? 

I felt that Our Lord followed me for some time on the Calvary road. Later I felt myself alone, seeing Him on the summit, life-sized, nailed to the cross.  

I covered the entire way of Calvary without losing sight of Him… it was when I arrived next to Him that I had to stop. 

I saw St. Thérèse, the Little Flower, twice[1]. The first time I saw her dressed as nun, between two sisters, at the door of the Carmel. On the second occasion she was surrounded by roses and wrapped in a celestial mantle. (A, 46)   

During the afternoon of this memorable day, Alexandrina wrote on the reverse of a holy picture:          

Jesus led me from Gethsemane to Calvary: what a great grace! Now I can say: I am crucified with Christ. (C G, p. 71)  

To be present at that ecstasy!   

We read in No Calvário de Balasar what the few people present had seen: Fr Pinho, Deolinda, perhaps their mother and someone else… 

We who were present saw the drama of the Passion being relived as much as it was possible for a human being to relive it: Gethsemane… the arrest… the courts… the flagellation… the way of Calvary… the Crucifixion…the Death. (...)  The stigmata had remained always invisible, because she had asked Our Lord that there might be no exterior manifestation. The Passion was very, very violent. Those of us who were present could not contain our tears before that all too visible spectacle of pain. (NoC, Ch. 15)

We transcribe some part of what Deolinda put down in the Diocesan Process: 

I arrived at noon. She had left the bed, we did not know how, but she lay prostrate with her face on the floor, completely composed. (Summ, pp. 221-223) 

As to her getting out of bed — she who was paralysed — another witness, Dr. Azevedo, her attending physician, as we will see, stated in the same Process: 

I observed that in getting out of the bed, where she was immobilized, she assumed an attitude of semi-levitation, for which I can find no natural explanation. (Summ, pp. 52-52)

Deolinda continues, after having described the phases of the acceptance, of the arrest, of the courts, of the flagellation: 

Then she took the cross. We deduced this from the position she assumed and the sound that her steps made on the floor. (...) she was bent forward, as one would who takes the weight of a cross on the back; and her steps were slow.   Later, when the phenomenon was repeated, there were people who tried to lift her off the ground, but they could not, though she only weighed 33 or 34 kilos. (Summ, pp. 221-223)

On the impossibility of lifting her when she was under the weight of the Cross, another witness testified: 

The spiritual director asked her, if she could remember, to enquire of Our Lord why they could not manage lift her. During the ecstasy that followed the crucifixion Our Lord answered that the weight of the Cross was the sins of the world, and that these could not be weighed! (Summ, p. 98). 

Of the colloquy with Jesus which followed this ecstasy, Fr Pinho records some phrases: 

How do I love You? (Alexandrina repeats what she hears Jesus saying as if to ask if she had heard them correctly. Thus those present, who could not hear the voice of Jesus, could follow the dialogue.) In the midst of such pain? … Oh Jesus, was it not in the midst of pain that You also loved me? Surely it was, so how could I not love You? Oh, how unfair that would be, my Jesus! … 

Are You sorry for making me suffer? But I offered myself with all generosity? … 

… But Jesus, I wanted love! Will You not You give it to me, Jesus? Please, give it to me! …

Can’t You give me more?... I want to die of love! 

Did You promise it to me? Do not neglect to fulfil what you promise?  

I know it well, Jesus. 

Am I yours? Was I always? Then, is that acceptable to you? Is It? Am I your heroine? … 

I am all for You, aren’t I, Jesus? I am the lover who has wasted away, who has lost herself in the love of Jesus? …     


After this 3rd October Alexandrina would be tormented in all the senses, even in smell. After that date she had the impression that everything had the smell of a dead dog.  Her sensitivity for sin was so acute that even on simply hearing the word “sinners” she felt jolted to the point of being twisted with pain.  This debilitating state persisted and was such that, up till 11th November 1938, she could only dictate letters to her director.

The periodic repetition   

Alexandrina would relive the weekly Passion with exterior manifestations, every Friday from midday to 3pm (except for the day 30-12-38, because unauthorized people were present) until 27 March 1942 also. After March 1942 she would continue to suffer those sufferings interiorly, not only on Fridays and with augmented spiritual torments, but without moving herself from the bed. (vide Ch 11)

Descriptions of the enacted ecstasies can be found in some of Alexandrina’s letters to her director (vide NoC), in notes assembled by the director himself in 12 notebooks, and in a detailed description by Fr Terças, an eyewitness of the one of  29th August 1941 (vide C G, C4 appendix).  

References to the feelings experienced during the last ecstasy constitute the beginning of the daily Sentimentos da Alma (Feelings of the Soul), dictated to Deolinda, not with the intention of keeping a diary, but as a form of relief, when she lost her director who made his last visit on 7th January 1942. 

A film was also made. It is kept in the archives of Balasar.

[1] At that time the liturgical feast of Saint Therese of Lisieux was on 3rd October; later it was moved to the 1st of the month. Alexandrina looked upon this saint as her spiritual sister. She will appear to her at other times, as we shall see.


Pour toute demande de renseignements, pour tout témoignage ou toute suggestion,
veuillez adresser vos courriers à