Already, while she still lived
on this earth, her apotheosis started to be revealed. It is enough to consider
the multitude of visitors of the last years. But it was disclosed still more in
the room where her body was prepared for burial, the room from whose window she
had flung herself to protect her chastity.
She was dressed with a white
habit, and placed in a coffin lined with white silk.
To her breast she held a white
amaryllis offered by the Salesians of Mogofores. She seemed to be immersed in a
cloud of white flowers:
“A white amaryllis between
amaryllises” – a Religious commented on gazing at her body before burial.
Indeed, how many times her beloved Jesus had called her “my pure, my white
As for visitors, Deolinda told
to Fr Umberto:
As soon as
she died, the house was invaded by people. At midnight we went to bed, but we
had almost no sleep because all through the night we could hear, without
interruption, these words: “Calm, slowly!”
being uttered by the men who offered to regulate the coming and going of the
multitude”. (C G, p. 695, note)
According to Fr Umberto, Joaquim
and I offered ourselves to watch the house the whole night, while my aunt and
her daughter, Deolinda, had left the room. With the waves of people continually
growing – many of them came from far away - we were worried in case the floor
might cave in. At one point we had to run to bring trunks to prop up it”. (C G,
p. 695, note).
The pilgrimage continued through
the 14th October. They were people of all social categories: doctors,
lawyers, industrialists, traders, artists, besides the mass of the people.
It continued without
interruption during the night, until 10 a.m. of 15th, the hour the
funeral procession departed for the parochial church. Forty priests were present
at the funeral.
She was buried in a plain tomb,
with her face directed toward the tabernacle, as she had desired. In her diary,
for 6-3-1950, we can read:
I do not
want my tomb to be grand, but I would like it to carry appealing words which
attract souls and invite them to true repentance, to a true love of Jesus and
His heavenly Mother. Ah, this is the only grand aspiration of my heart.
Her wish was honoured, but only
at the beginning because later admiring and devout people formed a group to
erect a little mortuary chapel which was inaugurated on 13th October
1957, only two years after her death. But it did not stop there because in 1978
the coffin was transferred to the parochial church!
On 12th January 1996
she was proclaimed Venerable and on 25th April 2004, Blessed.
Dr. Azevedo informs Fr Pinho of
Four days after the death, Dr.
Azevedo wrote to Fr Pinho giving him a short account of the details. Let us read
Alexandrina has died. It was
a grace because the pains of these last months were terrible. (...) I don’t know
how to tell you what happened during these last days, nor how much the Cause
must have been advanced in the heart of certain Pharisees. (...) The night of
the spirit disappeared on the penultimate day of her life. (...) The sacrifice
that the Lord wanted from her and from us was great. But, Te Deum laudamus, for
having taken to Heaven the dear Alexandrina. Alexandrina’s room will remain as
it was (...)
moments were, for the blind people and the ill-intentioned ones, an overpowering
proof that here was a great saint.
here on earth, her way to glory has started: the funeral was imposing. (...)
and there is never a lack of visitors at her tomb. (C G, p. 695)
Fr Umberto was informed by
On 16th October Fr
Umberto arrived at Terrasini, in Sicily, for a cycle of conferences.
On the morning of the17th
he celebrated Holy Mass and, while in the sacristy removing the vestments, he
saw a lady approaching who, with a humble attitude and speaking quietly, said to
Reverence was celebrating Our Lady came and charged me to tell you that
Alexandrina has died and is already in Heaven. I do not know who this
Alexandrina is; Your Reverence will know it.
- Tell the
Priest not be sad, because Alexandrina is with him. At these words of Our Lady I
saw on the shoulders of your Reverence a white dove. At the end of the Mass,
while Your Reverence was bending over the altar to give the blessing to the
people, Our Lady placed her hand on your head with something that I could not
distinguish well, and added:
“Sleep, sleep, son, my son,
because a great work awaits you. Later everything disappeared” (vide
Fr Umberto’s booklet Anima di
vittima e di Apostola, pp. 5-7).
The “great work” was the
preparation for the Informative Diocesan Process of Information, the burden of
which was practically all on his shoulders. And, if Alexandrina was recognized
as Venerable, and later Blessed, we are obliged to him for the work, for which
we will never be able to thank him enough.
Alexandrina as mediatrix
Her mission of saving souls
continues of course from Heaven, from where she also obtains other graces.
To encourage her in her path of
pain, Jesus had foreseen and told her many times of her future glory; glory not
only in the sense of recognition on the part of men, (“In a little while you
will be enrolled in the number of the Saints” - S, 13-6-52) but, above all, in
the sense of enjoying the Beatific Vision and in continuing to benefit the
brethren left on Earth. Here are some examples.
You are powerful, I made you
powerful. But you will soon be still more powerful from Heaven: I will see that
you perform wonders for joy of many; and for others you will serve as a
contradiction. S (14-1-49)
death, for you, yes, and through you, many, many graces, many, many blessings, a
deluge of graces and blessings will fall, fall day and night on the earth, on
the guilty earth, on the sinners who have much offended their God and Creator. S
outstanding grace is for the salvation of souls.
I will make,
beloved daughter, miracles to be performed, not only with the cure of souls
here, but also when they touch your tomb, as they are not able of touch your
body. I promise, my daughter, to grant you the graces of these sudden cures. S
mission I gave you, for this most important mission, I promise that after your
death, not only those sinners who invoke you with confidence, and at your tomb
ask for the grace of conversion, be saved, but I also promise that you will come
to attend many at death, to assist their passage into eternity.
What a vast
number you will accompany into the heavenly Homeland!
How many graces will be granted
to many, after you have gone to rest in the holy field!
Your Homeland is very near.
there, how many graces, how many blessings, how many miracles the world will
receive from you! Suffer, suffer! S (9-7-54)
daughter, accept willingly your incomparable suffering. (...)
death, your tomb, your sepulchre will speak intimately to thousands, to thousand
of sinners the souls will go together from you, and through you, and, as now,
will continue to be enriched. S (13-5-55)
The power of
your mediation will always last throughout the centuries!
The virtues of your life here
on earth will shine, will scintillate as stars in the sky; they will spread
their brightness to the entire world, to the world that is yours (He entrusted
the salvation of it to her).
coming to Heaven, but your blessing, the fruitful dew of your love, will always
fall on the earth while it exists. S (9-3-45)
As the prize of your suffering
life on earth, I will give you all my blessings, graces, and love with the means
of salvation so that all the Earth will be favoured by you until the end of
time. S (19-11-54)
Alexandrina is a powerful
mediatrix, because Jesus has promised that he will grant her anything she asks
In Heaven I will deny you as many things as you denied Me on earth. You never
had a ‘no’ for Jesus, you were always heroic in your suffering.
Your ‘yes’ was always ready for Jesus.
For this reason Jesus is ready to say to you in Heaven:
earth all the blessings and graces you wish, my beloved spouse; grant to souls
everything they ask of you in my name, in the name of my blessed Mother, in the
name of your martyrdom”. S (25-2-55)
Let us note the significance of
those two imperatives: order, grant. Jesus does not say “I will
order”, “I will grant”, because He wants to diffuse the graces
through Alexandrina who asks Him for them, thus valuing the mediating work of
this heroic victim-soul.
Let’s apply therefore to her,
O Alexandrina my dear Beata,
Obtain for me a capacity
to love with more strength,
and to know how to illuminate
all my daily activities,
even if painful,
with a smile!
May love raise the smile in me.
English rendition: Leo Madigan, Apt. 303, 2495-651 Fátima, Portugal.
Pinho, Jesuit, director of several magazines and a good orator, was often
sent to various places to preach.
Deolinda participated in a retreat for the Daughters of Mary, in Póvoa de
Varzim, conducted by Fr Pinho. She was favourably impressed and confessed to
him. Fr Pinho, who was often preaching or confessing in neighbouring
parishes, advised Deolinda and agreed to become her confessor. She confided
her desire to join the religious life; but Fr Pinho, knowing that she had an
ill sister at home, saw immediately that her mission was to nurse her
Fr Pinho was invited by the parish priest of Balasar to preach during the
week of the feast of the Sacred Heart. He got a girl to take him to
Alexandrina’s house and during the rest of the week not a day went by that
he didn’t visit her. (Information collected in 1980 by Fr Hector Callovi,
vice-postulator of he Cause and contained in an Appendix of Fr Pasquale
annexed to the Biography).
From the Autobiography: “On 16th
August 1933, his reverence came to our parish to preach a triduum in honour
of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and on that occasion I took him as my spiritual
director” (A, p. 22)
Later she was to pass through a
second mystical death (which started around 1944), more complex, deeper and
more lasting, which took place mainly in the spiritual sphere (vide No Cal,
Ch 30). This work – which was written simply to make Alexandrina known – did
not touch on this phase of the Alexandrina’s spirituality, which belongs on
a specifically mystical level.
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.
must be noted that Alexandrina is not possessive of this mission. Indeed, Fr
Umberto Pasquale says: “When Alexandrina knew, through me, that Sister Lucia
of Fatima was charged with asking for the consecration of Russia to the
Heart of Mary, she said with relief: Good! That means that when you talk to
the world about the consecration, my name will not appear.”
“Peregrinatio Mariae” in Italy, Fr Mario Mason, a Jesuit, who had taken part
personally in the organization, left some writings about it. Let’s look at
some excerpts from it:
In 1942 I saw, as in a dream, the
statue of Our Lady going through all the country, as a missionary, and
remaining two or three days, according to the importance of the centres.
From May 1947 to October 1949, in Milan and surrounding dioceses it was
received as if it was truly alive, as both Mother and Queen. All the
organizational difficulties were overcome as if by enchantment.... and the
flood of worshippers grew. The holy Cardinal Schuster himself was moved to
say: «Here is the hand of God!»
initiative passed from Milan to the whole of Italy. To prepare souls for the
solemn act of the consecration of Italy to the Blessed Virgin Mary, which
was made in Catania on 13th Setember1959 by Pope John XXIII, I proposed to
the National Marian Committee that the statue of Our Lady of Fatima should
pass though all the dioceses of Italy, by helicopter, for 150 days or more,
without interruption: it was like a live Rosary of the Virgin among Her
sons. All the regions competed to outdo each other with manifestations of
love and deep piety. (...) the evocative scenes of welcome, the continuous
pilgrimages and the vigils in all parts transformed the towns into so many
shrines. (...) this caused me to live those 150 days in an anticipated
vision of the Paradise. (...)
remembrance of that itinerary the National Temple of Mary, Mother and
Queen, came into being in Mount Grisa, in Trieste, to unite and protect all
the peoples of Europe and of the world (...)”.
Many had been “touched”. We remember
how the Holy Padre Pio, leaning out of the window of his cell to look at the
statue moving in the sky and, in anguish, asking for a cure... and was
May the Body of Our Lord Jesus
Christ keep your soul unto eternal life.
Every suffering which the victim
undergoes corresponds with the sin for which she atones. Here, it is the
sufferings of leprosy to correspond with impurity, elsewhere it is
temptations against the faith for unbelievers, etc.
will assist her until September 1948, later he will have to return to Italy,
and she will send her diaries to him there. But the true, unique spiritual
father is always Fr Pinho, whose return she asks for with increasing
anguish, but in vain!
had been given to her by Fr. Pinho in the first years of his direction.
Alexandrina was never separated from
it. Usually she had it next to her heart, putting it in charge of loving
Jesus for her. During the phenomenon of the physical Passion she had it
pressed in her fist in such a way that no human force was able to remove it.
(...) After Alexandrina’s death, it was sent by Deolinda to Fr Pinho in Baía,
in Brazil. It is not known who has it now. (C G, pp. 464-465)
substituted the crucifix that she always had for one that Fr. Pinho had
given her. Later she had offered this (it is not known to whom) and had
asked that they return the first one. Whoever it was had forgotten to return
it and she did not ask it again so as not to cause a fuss. Surely, however,
after this extraordinary fact, it had been returned to her.
“A Tide of
people”. The people passed by Alexandrina, as a river... as happens, for
example, before the Holy Shroud of Turin.
encounter with the Saint of Lisieux: both, without moving from their
immediate surroundings, had engaged in missionary work which reached to the
furtherest ends of the world.
The Little Flower shares with
Alexandrina the same confidence that, in heaven, Jesus will not deny her
anything because she, too, did not deny Him anything on earth.
The Little Flower shares with Alexandrina the same
confidence that, in heaven, Jesus will not deny her anything because
she, too, did not deny Him anything on earth.