A living miracle of the Eucharist





Around 1935 Alexandrina received a series of messages from Jesus, warning that a second world war would take place as a punishment for the sins of humanity, and that this could only be averted by the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Jesus urged Alexandrina, through her spiritual director, to petition the Holy Father to perform this consecration.  Alexandrina was also requested to pray and offer her sufferings so that the consecration might be achieved.  From then on, she offered everything for this intention.  Fr Pinho was initially hesitant about carrying out this request, but Our Lord’s insistence, relayed through Alexandrina and accompanied by her pleas, finally convinced him to act.  In September 1936 he wrote to Cardinal Pacelli, who was then Secretary of State of the Vatican, later to become Pope Pius XII, passing on the request of Jesus given through Alexandrina to consecrate the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  In 1937 and again in 1939 the Holy See sent a prominent theologian to Balasar, Fr Paul Durao, to investigate the claims being made by Alexandrina and her spiritual director.

In 1938, Fr Pinho had providentially been assigned to preach the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius to all the bishops of Portugal who were gathered together in Fatima.  Alexandrina prayed and offered many sufferings that the bishops would ask the Holy Father for the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Her prayers and sacrifices, and Fr Pinho’s powers of persuasion had the desired effect, as the bishops made the following petition to the Holy Father:-


“Humbly prostrate at the feet of your Holiness, we earnestly implore you to consecrate the entire world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as soon as you judge the moment opportune, so that through her mediation, the world can be liberated from the dangers that threaten it on every side.”


Alexandrina was overjoyed to hear of the bishops’ petition, but there was still a heavy price to be paid for the consecration, and she was the one who had been divinely chosen to pay it.  Our Lord made this clear when He said to her:-


“As a sign that it is my Will that the world be consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of my Mother, I will make you suffer my Passion until the Holy Father has decided to implement this consecration.” 


War was soon to break out in Europe and Jesus lamented this fact to Alexandrina, but told her that he had no choice but to punish humanity in this way, because of the innumerable and terrible sins being committed throughout the world.  This confirms part of Our Lady’s message given at Fatima, when She revealed that God was going to punish the world for its crimes by means of “war, famine, persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father”.  Alexandrina once again offered herself as a victim of atonement for the sins of humanity.

Pope Pius XI died and in March 1939 Cardinal Pacelli was elected to the papacy, taking the name of Pope Pius XII.  Jesus told Alexandrina that he would be the Pope who would perform the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  So now the stage was set.  Jesus had made his desire for the consecration known, and the Holy Father had been made aware of this.  The only thing needed to hasten the consecration was Alexandrina’s suffering of the Passion.

After having consented to undergo Christ’s Passion to help bring about the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Alexandrina received a series of alarming revelations from Jesus, in which she saw the perilous state of souls and the enormity of sin in the world.  She was also shown horrific visions of World War II.  Jesus said to Alexandrina:-


“Every moment countless sinners are provoking the wrath of God on the world - the most tremendous wrath. Unhappy ones if they are not converted! Poor world, whatever will become of it! Penitence, penitence throughout the world! Penitence! Oh world, acknowledge your crimes or you will be destroyed! Woe to the world! Divine Justice cannot support it any more.” 


Alexandrina valiantly responded to Jesus’ request for reparation on behalf of sinners, crying out:-“O my Jesus, I want to suffer all! I want to be crushed by you! I am your victim . . . but do not punish the world.  I wish to be the lightning conductor of your wrath.”   

The day before Alexandrina’s mystical suffering of the Passion was to start, the tension in her home was palpable as no one knew what to expect.  She wrote of her anxieties:-


“On the morning of 2 October 1938, Our Lord told me that I would have to pass through all of his Passion from Gethsemane to Calvary . . . He confirmed that I would begin on the following day and that I would repeat these sufferings every Friday immediately after midday, until three o'clock in the afternoon. I did not say no to the Lord. I warned my spiritual director of everything and waited anxiously for the morrow because neither of us could imagine what was going to happen. During the night of 2-3 October, my agony of soul was intense, but the suffering of my body was even greater. I began to lose blood and felt fearful pains. And it was in this suffering that I entered into my first crucifixion. That horror I felt deep inside. Oh, how unspeakable were my afflictions!”


On the 3rd October 1938, the Passion ecstasies started.  Jesus said to Alexandrina:- “See my daughter, Calvary is ready.  Do you accept?”  She willingly accepted and then went into ecstasy.  All those present in the room were astounded by what happened next.  This woman, who had lain in her bed completely paralysed for over 14 years, suddenly got up and was able to move around the room.  In this way, the Passion of Christ was re-enacted through her.  A local woman, present at one of the Passion ecstasies, wrote the following account:-


“At the hour fixed by Jesus, our ‘seraph of love’ began to suffer for us and for many sinners whom she wanted to save. I was present at that agony, but I do not know how to describe it. She suffered from the Garden to the Cross. Oh how everything was reproduced in that frail body of Alexandrina!  When Jesus told her that the hour was drawing near that everything was prepared for her via dolorosa, step by step, as far as Calvary, she replied very courageously, "Yes Jesus, for you and to save sinners, I will do everything." It was then that she suffered the agony, the scourging, the crowning with thorns, the prison and the meeting with Our Lady at whom she gazed with a sorrow such as my eyes have never before seen.  The falls under the cross were so visible that they left no room for any doubt ... In my opinion, her agony intensified when she presented her little white hands and then her feet to be nailed. Then the cross was fixed in the earth… what a heart-rending scene! What sadness flooded our souls! There followed the agony on the cross with her sad and penetrating groans. And her gaze! It was indescribable! She sighed repeatedly and in the end, closed her hollow eyes in the violet sockets, bent her head and died. What a faithful replication of the death of Jesus!”


Alexandrina’s falls during the Passion ecstasies often caused quite severe bruising on her body, but these were the only signs of what had taken place, as for reasons of humility, she had begged Jesus not to give her the stigmata or any other visible sign of the Passion.  Alexandrina underwent these ecstasies each Friday from midday to 3pm around 180 times.  During them she did not see or hear anything around her, and even when vigorous efforts were made to disturb her she did not react in any way.  She did, however, respond to verbal commands from Fr Pinho, her spiritual director, and miraculously, even responded to mental commands made by him.  Prior to undergoing the Passion each week, Alexandrina suffered a mounting sense of terrifying fear as the hour for the ecstasy drew nearer.

Alexandrina’s physician, Dr Azevedo, tended her from 1941 until her death in 1955.  He became a close friend and was present at many of the Passion ecstasies, and wrote down much of what occurred during them.  Other doctors were sent by the Church authorities to determine the cause of this phenomenon, but none who came were able to explain these mysterious events.  An interesting phenomenon occurred during the Passion ecstasies which is worth mentioning.  When Alexandrina was undergoing the carrying of the cross to Calvary, it was found to be completely impossible to lift her up from the floor – even one inch.  At other times during the ecstasies she could be lifted with the greatest of ease, as she did not weigh very much.  Fr Pinho asked Alexandrina about the weight of the cross, and she replied that it had “the weight of the whole world”.

Fr Pinho and the family had felt it best not to tell too many people about the Passion ecstasies, and for some years only a few outside the family were aware they were taking place, until a priest who had been present at one of the ecstasies had an article published about them in a widely read journal.  The inevitable surge of interest in Alexandrina caused her great suffering.  She had wished to remain hidden, but now thousands descended on the small home, each wishing to see this extraordinary woman and ask her prayers for their various intentions.

In Holy Week of 1942, Alexandrina’s pain greatly increased and once again she appeared to be on the verge of death.  On the evening of Maundy Thursday, she felt slightly better, and noted that she wasn’t experiencing her customary mounting fear of the Friday Passion ecstasy.  She didn’t know the reason for this, but felt sure that she wouldn’t undergo the Passion the next day.  The reason was made known to her the following morning.  On Good Friday, Jesus told her that the Holy Father had decided to consecrate the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Pope Pius XII actually performed the consecration on 31st October 1942.  Although Alexandrina was overwhelmed with joy that the consecration had been done, her mission of suffering was not yet over.  In fact, it was to enter a new and even more astounding phase – a thirteen year fast in which she would miraculously live on the Holy Eucharist alone.




Jesus gave Alexandrina the following message to prepare her for the new phase of her mission:- 


“You will not take food again on earth. Your food will be my Flesh; your blood will be my Divine Blood, your life will be my Life. You receive it from me when I unite my Heart to your heart. Do not fear, my daughter. You will not be crucified any more as in the past ... And now a new trial awaits you, which will be the most painful of all.  But in the end I will carry you to Heaven and the Holy Mother will accompany you.”


On Good Friday 1942 Alexandrina started the total fast which continued for thirteen years until her death.  During all this time she took no food or drink whatsoever, but received Holy Communion with great devotion each day.  This phenomenon is not unique, as a few saints have received this special calling from God, but such occurrences are extremely rare in the life of the Church.

People came in increasing numbers to visit Alexandrina, which added greatly to her sufferings, but she always maintained a cheerful disposition and received everyone most courteously.  Her constant silent prayer was:- “O Jesus, place on my lips a deceiving smile in which I can hide all the martyrdom of my soul.  It is enough that only you know of my endurance.”   While many thousands came to see Alexandrina and implore her intercession, she was not without her detractors.  Some disbelieved that she lived on the Holy Eucharist alone, and rumours were circulated that she was fraudulent, which caused her and her family further suffering.

A medical examination of Alexandrina took place, which she accepted in a spirit of obedience and resignation.  One of the doctors performing the examination asked her:- “Why do you not eat?” She replied, “I do not eat because I cannot. I feel full. I do not need it. However, I have a longing for food.” The results of this examination were inconclusive, and so it was suggested that Alexandrina go to a hospital in Porto to have the fast medically certified.  She agreed to the proposal on three conditions; that she would be able to receive the Holy Eucharist each day, that Deolinda could accompany her, and that she be there only for observational purposes and not have to undergo any more medical examinations.  These conditions were agreed and Alexandrina went to the hospital in Porto by ambulance, offering up all the sufferings that this journey would inevitably bring.  She said:-


"I embraced my family and friends and only Jesus knew the sorrow it cost me to separate myself from them. I looked only into his Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and implored them to give me courage and strength to bear this new affliction. As they levered my stretcher downstairs I murmured to my weeping family, 'Courage! All for Jesus and for souls!' I was unable to say more. There was such a tightening of my heart that I felt it would be impossible to keep back the tears.”


After a very difficult journey Alexandrina arrived at the hospital on 10th June 1943 and was put under the strictest supervision.  Two people kept her under intense scrutiny around the clock, all the time she was in hospital.  Alexandrina said that she found Dr Enrico Gomes de Araujo, the doctor in charge of conducting the observation, to be strict “even to the point of harshness”.  Dr Araujo visited Alexandrina several times each day and interrogated her, and she underwent many other trials and indignities during her stay in hospital.  Alexandrina’s own physician, Dr Azevedo, visited her on occasions, and his support and company afforded her some relief.  After thirty days of being constantly monitored, another physician, disbelieving the genuineness of Alexandrina’s fast, insisted that she remain for a further ten days.  On 19th July 1943, the day before she left hospital, all the children of the hospital gathered around Alexandrina’s bed and she prayed with them.  Later, over 1,500 people arrived to catch a glimpse of the ‘Victim of Balasar’ and the police had to be brought in to control the crowd.  Dr Araujo told Alexandrina that the observation was concluded and said “In October, I will come to visit you at Balasar, not as a doctor-spy, but as a friend who respects you.”  Dr Araujo’s official report confirmed Alexandrina’s fast as scientifically inexplicable. It stated:-


“It is absolutely certain that during forty days of being bedridden in hospital, the sick woman did not eat or drink . . . and we believe such phenomenon could have happened during the past months, perhaps the past 13 months . . . leaving us perplexed.”


A further report by Drs Lima and Azevedo confirmed the above:-


“We the undersigned, Dr C. A. di Lima, Professor of the Faculty of Medicine of Oporto and Dr E. A. D. de Azevedo, doctor graduate of the same Faculty, testify that, having examined Alexandrina Maria da Costa, aged 39, born and resident at Balasar, of the district of Póvoa de Varzim ... have confirmed her paralysis ... And we also testify that the bedridden woman, from 10 June to 20 July 1943 remained in the sector for infantile paralysis at the Hospital of Foce del Duro, under the direction of Dr Araujo and under day and night surveillance by impartial persons desirous of discovering the truth of her fast. Her abstinence from solids and liquids was absolute during all that time. We testify also that she retained her weight, and her temperature, breathing, blood pressure, pulse and blood were normal while her mental faculties were constant and lucid and during these forty days, she did not have any natural bodily functions”


While this phenomenon was inexplicable to everyone else, Alexandrina knew the cause of it, for Jesus had already told her:- “You are living by the Eucharist alone because I want to prove to the world the power of the Eucharist and the power of my life in souls.”




Alexandrina returned home to yet another trial.  It appeared that her detractors had been busy again, and as a result of their interference, Fr Pinho had been ordered to stop being her spiritual director and was sent to Brazil where he remained until his death in 1963.  After Alexandrina lost Fr Pinho as her spiritual director, a woman from Póvoa de Varzim, Irene Gomes, went to Tuy in Spain to visit the Fatima seer Sister Lucia, and told her about Alexandrina's trial.  Sister Lucia wrote a note of comfort to Alexandrina on a holy picture, assuring her of prayers that she might obtain a new spiritual director. 

Alexandrina’s physical condition greatly worsened at this time, and again she received the last sacraments.  As in the case of the man who killed St Maria Goretti, Alexandrina’s assailant also repented of his sin, and joined the crowd of people waiting to visit her.  Upon seeing her he cried and said “She is a saint – and to think she is crucified on that bed of pain through my fault!”

In 1944 help arrived for Alexandrina in the form of Fr Umberto Pasquale, a renowned priest of the Salesian Order.  Shortly after meeting her he became her spiritual director and encouraged Alexandrina to continue to dictate her diary.  Thoroughly imbued with the Salesian charism of service to youth, he asked if she would offer some of her sufferings and prayers for the salvation of youth.  She consented and on 26th February 1945 became a Salesian Cooperator, offering her sufferings and prayers in union with Salesians all over the world, for the salvation of all, but especially for youth.  Alexandrina had her certificate of enrolment as a Salesian Cooperator hung on the wall of her room, and she said “How many times I look at my certificate and offer my sufferings united to all of you for the salvation of the young”.  Fr Pasquale was also a close friend of Sister Lucia of Fatima.

In her final years Alexandrina increasingly prayed for the Church, as Jesus told her that it was facing a “great crisis”.  He said:- “Tell my ministers to be vigilant, for the devil is preparing a massive assault on the Church . . .”   She also underwent an astounding array of profound mystical experiences, such as a mystical marriage with Jesus, a coronation by Our Lady, and a piercing by darts of unspeakable love from a flight of angels.  An incredibly beautiful fragrance emanated from her that was even noticed in other parts of the village.  Alexandrina was unaware of this, but Jesus told her that it was the perfume of her virtue. 

Thousands of people continued to visit Alexandrina on a daily basis, and she constantly exhorted them to live the message of Fatima, crying out:-


“Make reparation to Our Lord in the Adorable Eucharist! Penitence! Penitence! Penitence! Pray the Rosary devoutly every day.  Practise the First Saturday devotion. Consecrate yourselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary through the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.” 


Alexandrina pleaded with people to practise the First Saturday devotion and to consecrate themselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary through the Brown Scapular for very good reason, as Our Lady Herself has promised to assist with the eternal salvation of those who practise these devotions.  Our Lady revealed the First Five Saturday devotion on December 10th 1925 to Sister Lucia of Fatima, saying:-


“ . . . I promise to assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary, and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.”


The Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, was given by Our Lady in the 13th century to St Simon Stock of the Carmelite Order at Aylesford in Kent, with the promise that those who die wearing it shall not suffer eternal damnation, and it has been worn ever since by millions as a sign of consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and a pledge of Her Motherly protection.  Countless saints have recommended its use, and it has consistently received Papal approbation, including that of Pope John Paul II, who said in a message of 25th March 2001 to the Carmelite family on the 750th anniversary of the Bestowal of the Brown Scapular:


“ . . . two truths are evoked by the sign of the Scapular:  on the one hand, the constant protection of the Blessed Virgin, not only on life's journey, but also at the moment of passing into the fullness of eternal glory; on the other, the awareness that devotion to her cannot be limited to prayers and tributes in her honour on certain occasions, but must become a ‘habit’, that is, a permanent orientation of one's own Christian conduct, woven of prayer and interior life, through frequent reception of the sacraments and the concrete practice of the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.  In this way the Scapular becomes a sign of the ‘covenant’ and reciprocal communion between Mary and the faithful:  indeed, it concretely translates the gift of his Mother, which Jesus gave on the Cross to John and, through him, to all of us, and the entrustment of the beloved Apostle and of us to Her, who became our spiritual Mother . . . I too have worn the Scapular of Carmel over my heart for a long time!” 


Formerly, only Carmelite priests could enrol people in the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, but now the Holy See has extended the faculty to all priests, so that as many as possible may reap the benefits of this great devotion.   

In 1948 Fr Pasquale was sent by his superiors to do other work, which meant that Alexandrina had to rely on other priests to bring her daily Holy Communion.  She recorded in her diary that on occasions when no priests were available, Jesus Himself used to bring her Holy Communion.  In early 1955 her health rapidly deteriorated and she lay for several months in agonising pain  - worse than anything she had suffered before.  Towards the end of September 1955 the pain subsided somewhat, and on October 2nd she heard a voice saying to her:-  “Who will sing with the angels?  You, you, you!  In a little while, in a little while.”  Taking this as a sign that her time on earth was coming to an end, Alexandrina started to prepare for death.  In the evening of the 12th October, Mass was celebrated in her room and she received Holy Communion.  Towards the end she said:- “My God, I have always consecrated my life to you and I offer you now its end, accepting death with resignation, with all its pains, for your greater glory.”  After thanking everyone present for all they had done for her over the years, she cried out:- 


“O Jesus! I can no longer stay on earth! Oh Jesus, life is dear, Heaven is dear!  I have suffered so much in this life for souls! I am crushed, I am consumed in this bed of pain. Forgive everyone! Pardon, pardon the entire world . . . Oh I feel so happy! I am so happy because I am going to Heaven at last!”


On the morning of the 13th October, the 38th anniversary of Our Lady’s last appearance at Fatima and the day on which the miracle of the sun took place, Alexandrina received a vision of the Immaculate Heart of Mary who said to her “I am about to take you”.  She received Holy Communion for the last time at 8am, and afterwards delivered her final poignant message to those present in her room, and to all humanity, crying out:- “Do not sin. The pleasures of this life are worth nothing.  Receive Communion.  Pray the Rosary every day. This sums up everything.”  Alexandrina suffered extreme pain throughout the whole day, which she bore with great fortitude to the very end.  At 8pm, she kissed the crucifix for the last time, and died at 8.29pm.

Fr Pasquale was in Italy at this time and was unaware that Alexandrina had died.  On the day after her death, he offered Mass in the morning as usual, and afterwards was approached in the sacristy by an elderly woman.  Thinking that she wanted confession, he asked her to wait in the confessional and said that he would be with her shortly.  He was amazed when this woman told him that she didn’t want confession, but that she had a message from Our Lady for him.  The woman said:- “When you were saying Mass, Our Lady appeared to me and asked me to tell you that Alexandrina is dead and is in heaven”.  The woman said that she didn’t know who Alexandrina was.  She also informed Fr Pasquale that Our Lady had told him not to worry, and that Alexandrina was with him.  Three days later he received a letter from another Salesian priest confirming her death.




The news of Alexandrina’s death spread quickly throughout Portugal and a multitude came to venerate her and pay their last respects.  An all-pervading deep sense of loss affected the entire region.  The funeral took place on the 15th October and was attended by thousands, including dozens of priests.  Alexandrina was buried in a humble tomb, with her face turned towards Jesus in the tabernacle, as she had requested.  Two years after her death, a small chapel was built over her tomb, and 12 years after her death, on 14th January 1967, the diocesan investigation into the cause for her beatification was solemnly opened.  It was completed on 10 April 1973 and sent to Rome.  In 1978 the diocese transferred Alexandrina’s remains from the small chapel to a place of honour inside the parish church of St Eulalia, next to the high altar, where her remains are kept to this day.  She had previously predicted that her body would turn to ashes, without decomposing, and when she was disinterred, this was indeed found to be the case.  There was no body or bones – just ashes.  These have been known on occasions to exude the same heavenly fragrance that used to emanate from Alexandrina during her life. 

Sister Lucia of Fatima wrote to Fr Pasquale, saying “May the Lord grant that Alexandrina's cause of beatification advance as quickly as possible, for the glory of God.  It is necessary that such a materialistic world sees that there are still souls capable of being raised into the realms of the supernatural.

A plea to sinful humanity, which Alexandrina originally dictated in 1948, was engraved on her tomb at her request:-


“Sinners: If the ashes of my body can be useful to save you, approach; if necessary, pass on the ashes, trample on them until they disappear; but never sin again, never offend Jesus again.

Sinners: There is so much that I would like to tell you. This vast cemetery could not contain all that I would like to write.  Be converted.  Do not offend our dear Lord any more.  Do not lose Jesus for all eternity.  He is so good.  Enough of sin!  LOVE HIM!  LOVE HIM !”


Rome approved Alexandrina’s writings in the late 1970’s, and issued a decree for the introduction of the cause for her beatification on 13th January 1983.  She was declared Venerable on 12th January 1996.  In the previous year, a miracle took place through the intercession of Alexandrina, and the evidence of this was used for her impending beatification.  The miracle, the complete cure of a woman named Maria Madalena Azevedo Gomes Fonseca, from a type of incurable Parkinson’s disease, was approved by Rome in 2003.  To the great joy of her devotees throughout the world, Alexandrina was beatified on 25th April 2004 by Pope John Paul II, who decreed that her feast be celebrated each year on the 13th of October.

Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, was asked by the international journal Inside the Vatican about the significance of Alexandrina’s beatification for Portugal and for the world.  He told them:-


“Because a Saint does not belong to this or that country, but rather to the Church of Christ, firstly the Beatification of Alexandrina da Costa is a great event for the Church in Portugal, but even more so for the Universal Church because Pope John Paul II is going to propose a special role model for the world today and especially for today's youth, and that is the great message of the beatification of Alexandrina da Costa.  Firstly, she was a great heroine when she defended her virginity by jumping from a window and ending up a paraplegic.  This was a heroic act.  Today there exists a great spiritual laziness.  A lack of courage in today's youth that should always have present a strength of conviction in the values of the Faith. Therefore, Alexandrina da Costa is a model of purity and perseverance in the Faith for today's youth.”


The centrality of the Holy Eucharist in Alexandrina’s life, and her call for our lives to be centred on the Eucharist is highlighted by Fr Joaquim Mendes, Salesian Provincial of Portugal, in an article on the Salesians of Don Bosco website.  When asked what specific contribution Alexandrina had made to Salesian spirituality, he said:-


“The first particular contribution is love of the Eucharist.  She lived this love for Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.  She spent the greater part of each day praying, with her eyes fixed on the tabernacle in the church of Balasar.  As well as this she received Holy Communion each day, and for thirteen years took no other food.  She also wanted her tomb to be directed towards the tabernacle” 


It is fitting that the 50th anniversary of Alexandrina’s death coincided with the year pronounced by Pope John Paul II to be The Year of the Eucharist.

One of the most moving tributes to Alexandrina, written ten years after her death in 1965 by her second spiritual director, Fr Pasquale, is held in the archives at Balasar.  The following is an excerpt:


“Being frequently questioned about Alexandrina, I confirm that in my long clerical life I became close to many people of all kinds, but I have never found anyone (even religious or priests) so spiritually and humanly perfect, in all aspects, as Alexandrina.  Never.  When I recall the frequent meetings I had with that exceptional soul, illuminated by ascetic knowledge that I have learnt from spiritual readings throughout my priestly life, I cannot discover the least shade of imperfection in her.  On the contrary, I discover beauty, refinement and heroism in her virtue.  I admire the wonderful action of God’s grace in that soul more and more.  If I had to point out the virtue in which she most distinguished herself, I could not, because she did not have one that shone more than the others:  she was excellent in all, in a perfect harmony, even in those that were more visible: for example, in her obedience to ecclesiastical authority and her directors; in the patience so often tested by her illness or by troublesome people that came to see her; or in her charity to others, especially to those who had caused her serious sorrow.  Her truly giant personality was assisted by a spirit of genuine and evident humility that arose from her lips and more so from her inner attitudes, which can easily be deduced from the careful reading of her daily notes: by complete indifference to her own will, always anxious in seeking and fulfilling the will of God, through a total resignation of her desires and personal wishes.  She was a creature truly and totally consecrated to her God, in a spirit of immolation and reparation for the offences continuously committed against Him, and to save all souls for Him.  Such a consecration cannot be explained without an eminent degree of love of God:  insatiable, burning, overwhelming love.  This love could not be better defined than by applying to it the adjective ‘seraphic’, in the most complete sense of the word . . .” 


Model of purity and perseverance in the Faith for today’s youth; ardent adorer of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament; inspiration and help for those suffering in any way; faithful Fatima messenger: Blessed Alexandrina is all these things and much more.  Many have already benefited from the graces won by her sufferings and prayers, and undoubtedly, many more will benefit in the future. Let us pray that her canonisation may take place soon.


Official Novena Prayer
for the Canonisation of Alexandrina


O Jesus, who art pleased with simple and humble persons, who are so often ignored, forgotten and despised by men, raise to the glory of Thy altars Thy humble Servant Alexandrina, who always desired to live hidden from the world and aloof from its vanities and praises.  Thou well knowest, Lord Jesus, how in our times there is need of lessons in holiness, which is the true fulfilment of every human and Christian vocation and, consequently, the elevation of a creature to the supreme height of moral beauty.  Invest then, O Jesus, Thy Servant with the immortal halo of glory and hear our prayers, which we through her intercession offer to Thee; especially grant us the favour which we ask ( . . . here mention your petition ) if it be for the honour of Thy Blessed Name, the glory of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the salvation of sinners, on whose behalf the pious Alexandrina so wholly and generously offered herself a victim.  Amen.


Nihil Obstat
Braga, 14th April 2005
P. Manuel Moreiras da Costa Santos

Imprimi potest
Braga, 14th April 2005
D. Jorge da Costa Ortiga
† Archbishop of Braga

Requests for books and pictures, accounts of favours obtained or any other matter connected with the Cause of Blessed Alexandrina may be sent to the: Pároco de Balasar, 4490 Póvoa de Varzim, Portugal.




Blessed Alexandrina da Costa, ‘Journal Spirituel’ http://alexandrina.balasar.free.fr/journal_spirituel_index.htm

Francis Johnston, ‘Alexandrina: The Agony and the Glory’, TAN Books

Fr Mariano Pinho S.J. ‘Victime de l’Eucharistie’ http://alexandrina.balasar.free.fr/victime_de_l_eucharistie_01.htm

Fr Umberto Pasquale SDB, Sous le Ciel de Balasar’  http://alexandrina.balasar.free.fr/ame_de_victime.htm

Sister Lucia, ‘Fatima in Lucia’s own words – volume 1’, Secretariado dos Pastorinhos, Fatima

Leo Madigan, ‘Blessed Alexandrina da Costa’, Ophel Books


Other useful sources:


The Alexandrina Society
c/o Sheila Reynolds, 32, Bridge Street
Belturbet, Co. Cavan, Ireland.

The official Portuguese website of Alexandrina Maria da Costa:

http://alexandrinabalasar.home.sapo.pt/index.htm (contains English sections)

The Salesians of Don Bosco website:

www.sdb.org (look in the English language section and put ‘Alexandrina’ into the site’s search engine)

French website ‘Alexandrina de Balasar’

http://alexandrina.balasar.free.fr (contains English sections)



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