(One of our readers, Mr. Kevin Rowles, sent us this article, click here to go to his homepage)
By Kevin Rowles
October 13th is well-known as the anniversary of Our Lady’s apparition and the solar miracle at Fatima, but it is also the anniversary of the death of Portuguese mystic and victim soul Blessed Alexandrina Maria da Costa, whose life was closely connected to the Fatima events. Pope John Paul II beatified Alexandrina in 2004 and decreed that her feast be celebrated on this date.
Alexandrina was born on the 30th March 1904 in Balasar, a small rural village about 40 miles north of Porto. When she was 14, an attempt on her virtue was to have devastating consequences. In 1918, while Alexandrina, her sister Deolinda, and a friend were in the house, three drunken men broke in, in order to rape them. Rather than submit to the attack, Alexandrina jumped from a window, falling 12 feet on to hard ground. As a result, her spine was irreversibly damaged. Her condition deteriorated, and she became bedridden on the 14th April 1924, aged twenty.
Alexandrina came to realise that suffering was to be her vocation. In 1931, she entered into a state of ecstasy and heard Jesus confirming her vocation as a victim soul, when He requested her to “Love, suffer and make reparation.” She gave her consent and asked Jesus for the necessary grace to fulfil her mission of suffering for humanity. This was the first of many ecstasies.
Around 1935 Alexandrina received messages from Jesus, warning that a second world war would take place as a punishment for the sins of humanity, which 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, and for her to pray and offer her sufferings so that it might be achieved. From then on, she offered everything for this intention.
Some have been confused by Our Lord’s request to Alexandrina for the world to be consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, when Our Lady specified at Fatima that Russia was to be consecrated. In his work ‘The Whole Truth About Fatima’, Frere Michel explains:- “The requests and promises of Fatima were destined to dominate our whole century. But while He waited for the fuller realization of this great design of mercy through the conversion of Russia, God chose another messenger (Alexandrina) to entrust her with obtaining another less spectacular and meritorious act. Still, this act would contribute to the development of devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and facilitate the fulfilment of the most important requests, the only decisive ones, those of Fatima”. Fr Umberto Pasquale, Alexandrina’s spiritual director and also a confidante of Sister Lucia, confirmed that Alexandrina’s mission, although connected, was distinct from that of Sister Lucia:- “The mission of Alexandrina, had been to obtain the consecration of the Church and of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The mission of Sister Lucia is to obtain the conversion of Russia by its Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary made by the Pope and all the bishops of the world in union with him.”
Alexandrina consented to mystically undergo Christ’s Passion each Friday to help bring about the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. On the 3rd October 1938, the Passion ecstasies started, and all those present in the room were astounded by what happened. 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. Each Friday until 1942, during these ecstasies, Alexandrina suffered everything, from the Agony to the Crucifixion. Jesus told her that the Holy Father had decided to consecrate the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Pope Pius XII performed the consecration on 31st October 1942, an act which shortened the duration of World War II. 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.
Alexandrina’s complete fasting was medically confirmed in hospital. A doctor stated in an official report that “ . . . 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.” While this phenomenon was inexplicable to everyone else, Alexandrina knew its cause, as 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.”
After years of great suffering, on 13th October 1955, after a vision of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, who told her that She was about to take her to Heaven, Alexandrina received Holy Communion for the last time, and delivered her final poignant message 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.” She died at 8.29pm.
Model of purity and perseverance in the Faith, especially for youth; ardent adorer of Jesus in the 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. Please pray that her canonisation may take place soon.
 Kevin Rowles’ new fully illustrated booklet ‘Blessed Alexandrina – A Living Miracle of the Eucharist’ is available on-line at www.newhope-ky.org/inspiringlives.htm