In June 1940 Alexandrina began
to fear that the authorities wanted to remove her director. There are hints that
Jesus was preparing her little by little for this great blow. Let us look at
some pages of letters to Fr Pinho:
I feel as if
they removed my dear spiritual Father from me forever. Will it be so? For
charity’s sake tell me something as soon as possible, and if I am to be made to
Jesus wants my pain (it was
for this reason that she had offered herself as victim), but surely He does not
want my dear spiritual Father, my sole comfort on earth, to be taken from me.
Woe is me!
What a tremendous tribulation! How sad it is my life, how sad is my life! C
suffer! Meanwhile let us not delay to cling closer to Jesus and to our celestial
Mother, asking Her with all our heart and soul that He transform the hearts of
the authorities, that the divine word be fulfilled, and that He does not leave
His poor blind daughter alone, without guide and support. C (12-6-40)
I feel that
my Father suffers. I feel the instrument with which he is wounded. I feel
acutely that that pain will wound him until the end of his days. C (29-11-40)
Jesus intervenes to help Fr
Pinho, who suffers very much, by telling Alexandrina in ecstasies:
Ask him if
he does not want me to use his pain to pardon sinners, and for the salvation of
the world. C (14-3-41)
that Jesus is with him, that Jesus conquers in him, that Jesus guides him, that
Jesus defends him, that Jesus loves him. C (21-3-41)
Tell him that he must have
confidence, that he is doing my divine will in everything, that it is the love
that I have for him that compels Me to immolate him in union with you.
that I am on fire with love for him and tell him that I want him to be a martyr
of suffering and of love on earth. C (14-11-41)
At the beginning of 1942, Jesus
spoke clearly to Alexandrina.
yourself for the fight, my daughter: you have to fight alone, seemingly. After
the battle comes the glory. (...) You will not have light: it will seem that you
are walking alone, but it is not the case. I do not abandon my beloved: I always
follow you with your spiritual father and your dear heavenly Mother, even though
you do not sense our presence. C (2-1-42)
The farewell and the
The 7th January 1942
was stamped on Alexandrina’s soul as the day of the leave-taking of her father
spiritual: they would never see one another again! But Alexandrina did not yet
know of the prohibition against her being directed by Fr Pinho. He was to
communicate this information to her by letter which would not arrive until 20th
February. She didn’t know, but she ‘felt’ that something very serious was taking
place, she “felt” the violence of the separation instigated by her director’s
superiors. Two days after that visit she wrote to him:
light has gone from the world. (...) Death took possession of all my being.
(...) In vain do I attempt to ask for help from the Heaven: everything is death,
everything is death. And I am permanently nailed to the cross with opened arms
(...) My soul seems to have been torn into little pieces. C (9-1-42)
I am afraid
of living without any support: I have lost everything, on earth and in Heaven. C
I suffer with a crushing
pain, but it does not matter if I am thrown out like a dirty rag, abandoned and
despised by all. I find it strange that among the Reverend Priests (the
superiors of Fr Pinho) there be so much “thing” - I say “thing” because I don’t
know the word to use. However, I desire only that Jesus pardons them, because
by me they are already pardoned. C (17-1-42)
useless, my father, to tell me that you do not suffer. I don’t need witnesses:
the perceptions of my soul are enough for me. I feel that you, my father, are
humiliated, are crushed, and that they brandish false accusations in your
greatest anguish is that I feel that I am the cause of all that suffering, the
whole weight of that cross. (…)
Pray for me, when this
(letter) arrives to your hands.
they will not allow me to write to your Reverence, or you, my father, to write
to me! Oh my God, oh my God, give peace to our afflicted souls. C (21-1-42)
At the beginning of an ecstasy
of the Passion, Jesus comforted her:
Your Jesus follows you, even if in secret, hidden, without you hearing Him, or
being aware of Him. Your spiritual father supports you: he will always be the
light and guide of your soul. Since I chose him for you, he will always be your
father on the earth and in Heaven. C (30-1-42)
I feel that
Jesus does not want me to take another director, a new guide for my soul. It is
not, dear Father, by nature that he attracts me; oh, no, God be praised: I feel
that is not so! Infinite thanks be given to Heaven: no natural force attracts me
to any person on earth. Today, if Jesus came to take me to Him, I would go
gladly. I feel that my Father is entwined with my heart, but with the threads of
Jesus, the threads of His divine love. There is nothing of the mundane. Thanks
without ceasing to Jesus! C (4-2-42)
Yesterday, it was already
night and I was unable to breathe because of sorrows and fears: I asked that
they move my bed in front of the window (from which the tower of the church
could be seen). Heaven sparkled with shining stars. For me there was no smile.
“How beautiful is this place!
”, I said: from where I lay I could look for my Heavenly Father who was in the
tabernacle, and for my spiritual Father who was in Braga (Alexandrina did not
yet know that he had been transferred to Macieira de Cambra).
tears had begun to flow down my cheeks. I cried, I cried bitterly.
Jesus, Jesus, O love of the
Eucharist, console Yourself in my bitterness (because a victim soul saves souls)
and comfort my spiritual father, because he is suffering for my sake and I do
not want that to happen.
wash the souls of sinners in my tears: they are tears of love drawn out by pain.
pardon me and bless me for the great suffering I have caused your Reverence! C
Satan profited from this
situation to torment her still more and instilled in her the fear of being
deprived of Holy Communion. She found relief in her Diary:
Men tried to
dissuade me from my purpose, they removed that which served as relief, that
which could give comfort! (...) I open my poor heart to You: only You can read
what is written there in pain and blood, only You can understand and evaluate my
suffering. The world is unaware of it, men do not understand anything. Let me
say to You what You said to your Eternal Father: “Forgive them, my Jesus,
because they know not what they do!” They are poor blind men, they lack your
divine light. Enlighten them all, and to all give your love.
O Jesus, all
my presentiments have become realities. Will men be able to forbid me to receive
You sacramentally? Woe is me! This would be the blow that would take away my
life, if You, with your divine power, do not preserve it.
May they say
what they have said, may they do what they have done, but they will never be
able to destroy this close union I have with You. To deprive me of my
sacramental Jesus? Yes, I do not doubt that they would try to do it - to remove
from my heart the richest Treasure that I adore, that I love above all things,
the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit; never, never will men get it: By doing
this they would make me live without heart and without soul. Impossible!
force of the entire world come, let it all bank up against me; let it try to
separate me from this Infinite Greatness, this Infinite Love. Never!
On Friday, 20th
February 1942, as she finished the ecstasy of the Passion, Fr Pinho’s letter was
delivered to Alexandrina. As we have said, it told her clearly about how he had
been prohibited from directing her. But during the ecstasy she had already felt
I walked with my face almost
touching the earth (on the way of Cross); here and there I fell. I wounded
myself painfully. I was covered in blood.
what terror even, when I reminded myself that in a little while I would be
crucified without being comforted by anyone on earth!
divine love helped me; you came to meet me.
daughter, human aid is wanting; Have courage! Divine aid will always be waiting
for you (...) Courage, courage, my beloved love-sick daughter! Your Jesus, your
heavenly Mother and your Father follow you, assist you in intimate union. (...)
proof of your infinite love, my Jesus! You agreed that Dr. Azevedo not only take
care of alleviating the pains of my body, but that he also alleviated the deep
pain of my soul. You, who know everything, used him to prepare my heart to
receive the last blow. Thank you, my Jesus! There is another thing I don’t know
how to say. Let me repeat with You: “My soul is sorrowful even unto death!
I have lost
the light, I have lost everything. Bless me and pardon me, my Love”. S
The following day, Alexandrina
wrote to Dr. Azevedo:
Yesterday, when you went
away, I remained a little more comforted: I had more courage for the fight. The
Lord used you, Senhor Doctor, to prepare me to receive the last blow of the
spear. (...) My heart began to fail (when reading Fr Pinho’s letter). At times
it seemed to me that it would stop beating altogether. I yearn to go to Heaven,
but I would not like to die like that. I would like the death that Jesus chooses
to give me, not one engineered by men: I would not like to leave them with the
guilt of having taken my life from me. My tears were of resignation and in the
interior of my heart I asked Jesus to pardon them. (L d)
Alexandrina was to write later
to Fr Pinho describing the tragic moment when she read his letter:
It was a
half past six in afternoon; the mail was delivered to me. Among it I saw a
letter that came from my Father. I took it in my hands. My arms seemed to break,
all the blood seemed to freeze in my veins; I did not have the strength to open
I thought to
myself: Whatever it says I must look at it! O my Jesus, I accept everything for
Your love and to win souls to You. I began to read it. The tears did not let me
read readily; but they were tears of complete resignation.
It seemed to
me that a lance pierced my heart, that it was rent from top to bottom. Already
some days have passed and still I feel in the same state. In the beginning I
weakened, it seemed to me that I would even lose my life. Inwardly I said: I
forgive all who have caused my death. (...) My tears, and my request that Jesus
pardon them, is my only revenge. (...)
Obedience, holy obedience, oh, how much I love it! My Father does not want to
disobey and I do not want him to disobey. Rather all the sufferings in the world
than the smallest offence to Jesus. Those who obey, do His divine will; they do
wrong whose commands do not conform to His divines desires! It is what has
happened in this case. Men try to oppose Jesus’ will: this is what I feel in my
I am almost
crazed with pain. My heart runs about like the small bird which can find nowhere
to settle: I am in a most painful martyrdom. (...)
I will call
you “my spiritual father” on earth and in Heaven. (...)
I do not
mind that the world hates me and has nothing but disdain for me. I only have
pain and I use it to beg mercy for those who must know Our Lord better but are
blind to his work, they do not understand anything; let them be the first ones
to abandon this earth for the Cause of Our Lord.
Let us wait
and let us trust: Jesus will not leave his poor daughter to die without bringing
her together again with her spiritual father. C (23-2-42)
On the contrary, she will not
see him again, on this Earth! But the hope of doing so will be of some help to
her up until her last moment.
Fr Pinho’s letters to
As a consequence of malignant
insinuations against Fr Pinho, in part excited by envious female neighbours, his
Superiors ask Alexandrina to hand over the letters that he had sent to her.
Let us quote two extracts from
Jesus, give me your divine
strength: I want to hide my pain; and without your strength I will never manage
to do that. (Jesus exhorts her always to live with joy in the midst of her pain;
she always manages to achieve this, but with what heroic efforts.)
cries night and day, but as this is what You want, my eyes are joyful and my
lips smiling. May Your holy love and the good of all souls be the foundation of
my suffering. (...)
O Jesus, I did not know that
I had still as much to give You! How great is my ignorance! I thought that I had
already given You everything. I deceived myself. You have now come to make the
final harvest. Harvest everything. Harvest quickly and harvest me last of all
for Yourself. On the 20th I gave You my spiritual father
unconditionally, until such time as You want to give him back to me. (All
communication with him finished then.)
On the 24th
I gave You all the correspondence that I had from him, which served me as light
and directed me on Your behalf. You know well how great was the sacrifice, not
for the attachment that I had to the letters, but for being asked for them when
I was in such pain. When I took them in my hands to bundle them together I tied
them with a wire. Did You hear, my Love, what I was saying?
them to me, Jesus is taking them away.” (vide Job, 1.21)
When handing them over I
thought I would never see them again (or so she believed, but they were to be
restored to her 15 days later), and it seemed that all my body trembled. But,
wanting to make me strong, I kept murmuring: “Is not my Jesus worthy of more
than this? Everything is so little for Him who loves me and gave everything for
me; everything is so little if souls are saved for Him”.
After this, I asked that my
picture be taken off the wall (it had been taken by Fr Pinho). This, my Jesus,
You can evaluate as little or nothing: I did not have the least esteem for it.
(...) My Jesus, it costs so much to become an instrument of suffering for
others! S (27-2-42)
will avenge myself on those who made me suffer so much, and I will do it with
all my strength. Do You know how, my Love? With fervent prayers, with all my
sacrifices, so that they will come to know You and love You. If they loved You
as You want, they would not behave like this. Forgive them, my Jesus. Me,
without You, without your grace, I see myself capable of much more than what
they say about me. If You left me for only a moment, it would be enough for me
to commit the greatest crimes.
I can only
be thankful to those who humiliate me and wound me: they have opened up a new
way for me to follow You more closely, with a more perfect love. (...)
To You, my
Jesus, I have already given myself as a slave and I continue to give myself.
And my life
of illusions continues too. Will they give me back my spiritual father? Will he
come today, will he come tomorrow? My Jesus, I did not commit any crime. I
suffer in innocence, I suffer for Your love, I suffer to give You souls.
rather suffer my entire life in innocence than to suffer a single moment with
guilt. S (13-3-42)
Fr Pinho exiled to Brazil
Not only will her spiritual
father not return to her, but they will soon send him to exile in Brazil! He was
to start out on 20th February 1946, but already in 1945 the first
intimations of his expulsion appear.
gave me the sad news that my spiritual father was to go abroad, but this person
did not know for certain if this was actually true or not. When I heard this, it
was as if a sharp dagger pierced my heart and took my life. S (14-12-45)
Then a new
dagger came to plunge itself in the same wound: an anonymous letter came to ask
me for prayers for my spiritual father, and to confirm his departure for
Brazil! My body trembled and my blood froze in my veins! It is impossible to
tell of the pain in my heart. But this time I did not cry: it was agonizing, but
a force coming from I do not know where, compelled me to smile.
I set my
eyes on Jesus and His heavenly Mother, and said to Them: “I accept, I accept,
but help me, look after me!”
As the hours
passed the storm rose in ferocity.
remained in great serenity and peace, but the tears slid in my face: I offered
them to Jesus as acts of love. I told Him that I accepted and trusted, and that
He was blessed on earth and in Heaven.
I prayed the Magnificat again
and left Him to crucify me more securely on the cross. S (21-12-45)
We now come to January 1946.
waited, with insupportable anxiety after 4 years of separation, the coming of my
spiritual father to give me light and to guide me on the spiritual path, it was
from here and there that I was told of his departure for Brazil! (...) what a
great fight! (...) S (25-1-46)
Alexandrina “feels” already next
the departure of her spiritual father:
People continue to talk about
the departure of my spiritual father. All the time I feel around me a furious
sea, a howling wind, and the most frightful storm batters me. (...)
I had suffered what my father
suffered in making his farewell to his friends, which he did in Fatima. And I
suffered for the suffering of my family, especially my sister (Fr Pinho was her
director too, vide note 1).
At the same
moment a hand settled on my head: it gave me the strength to be resilient amid
so many pains.
In spirit I
hugged the cross and said to Jesus:
pain be pain for me and love for You! May this embrace be an eternal embrace!”
middle of all this, I felt myself like a bomb about to explode. (…)
continues blindly, but with the certainty that it goes towards the door of
salvation; but that is not yet, not here – here it has no certainty of finding
anything. S (17-2-46)
The departure took place on 20th
February 1946. Only two days later did she manage to dictate something:
I will not be able erase the
20th (February) from my memory; the day of the departure of my dear
spiritual father to Brazil.
What Jesus asked of me! I did
not wait long. On the morning of that day, soon after Holy Communion, I asked
Jesus repeatedly if he had sailed or not, and He did not give me any reply. But
even so I kept up my confidence against all hope. Our Lord sent me somebody (Fr
Umberto Pasquale, who had directed her since 1944; vide Ch. 13) to solace and
comfort me and to prepare me for what was to happen.
When I began
to pray, I did not know how to offer my prayers. Should I ask Jesus to work a
miracle so that my spiritual father would not go? Or should I be thanking Him
for so great a grace? Or that my spiritual father would have a good trip? (...)
I prayed so
much, so many prayers of petition, sacrifices and other things and in the end he
obedience! What will I do now?
To go on trusting and waiting
on Our Lord, to redouble my prayers and, with eyes fixed on high, to wait with
joy and to suffer everything for love. Yesterday morning (the 21st),
soon after Holy Communion, I said to Jesus:
myself to You for everything. (...) my Jesus, what I want, my Jesus, and I
promise to make every effort, is to do everything with the highest possible
degree of perfection, and to love You with all the love of which my heart is
I wait on
afternoon, I knew the hour and all the details of the departure of my dear
spiritual father, and his embarkation onto the steamer.
wished to be strong, to hide my tears, and I managed to do so for a short while.
I stifled the sighs; nobody heard them; but then the tears rolled down my face
for some hours, but with all serenity and peace. (...) I offered them to Jesus,
and for everything I blessed Him and praised Him.
And I told
Him that, as I had promised, that even if my spiritual father did not go to
Brazil, my lips would not utter a word of either rejoicing or satisfaction. I
also promised, if He helped me with His grace, not to say a word against those
who had forced him to go, and who caused me so much suffering. On this point,
my Jesus, I want my lips to be sealed, so that they do not say anything.
This was my Gethsemane (when
reliving the Passion, in intimate form, vide Ch 11). And it was more than simply
a little painful (...)
thinking of this, I had a vision of a soul. In front of me a very white hand
blessed me many times. I felt a union in my soul that left it stronger.
receiving my Jesus, I made a short thanksgiving, because I did not have strength
I had next to me a book that
I had asked for some days before. I had already marked the Te Deum, to read as
thanksgiving as soon as I knew that my spiritual father had not started. I did
not want to put it aside without reading the Te Deum as a thanksgiving to Our
Lord for having assented in the order of expulsion which had been carried out.
It thus seemed me to give to more consolation to Jesus: to bless Him in pain
as in the joy. S (22-2-46)