The Catholic Defender: PORTUGAL, 1904-1955 Blessed Alexandrina Maria Da Costa
"Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from Evil" Amen.
The story of Blessed Alexandrina Maria Da Costa is quite miraculous taking this text from the "Our Father" prayer to a deeper understanding.
Blessed Alexandrina Maria Da Costa was Nourished Only By The Eucharist For Over 13 Years
On her tomb are the words she wished to be placed there: “Sinners, if the ashes of my body can be useful for your salvation, draw near to them, pass above them, and trample on them until they vanish. But sin no more; do not offend our Jesus any longer!”
Alexandrina remained paralyzed at age 21 from a dramatic incident in which she fled from the threat of violence. She did not permit herself to be overcome by sadness and by loneliness, but thought: “Jesus, You are a prisoner in the tabernacle as I am here on my bed, so that we can keep company”.
Following the physical sufferings from the paralysis, mystical sufferings were added: for four years, every Friday she saw the sorrows of the Passion, and after this period, for another 13 years until her death she was nourished only by the Eucharist. Her life became a continuous prayer for the conversion of sinners.
Alexandrina Maria was born in Balasar, Portugal on March 30, 1904. At age 14, in order to escape an attack by three men and to maintain her purity, she jumped from the window, but did not escape without suffering injury. The consequences were terrible, if not immediate. In fact, several years later, she became bedridden from a progressively increasing paralysis, from which she suffered for the remaining 30 years of her life. Yet, she did not despair, but entrusted herself to Jesus with these words: “As you are a prisoner in the tabernacle and I am a prisoner on my bed for doing Your will, so we can keep ourselves company”.
As a result, she began to live through ever more powerful mystical experiences, and from Friday, October 3, 1938 until March 24, 1942, for up to 182 times, she relived the sufferings of the Passion.
Blessed Alexandrina said of her condition: "Our Lady has given me an even greater grace [than a cure]: first abandonment; then complete conformity to God's will; finally, the thirst for suffering".
Beginning in 1942 until her death, Alexandrina was fed only by the Eucharist, and during a period of convalescence at the Foce del Douro Hospital near Oporto, for forty days and forty nights she was under supervision by several doctors in her absolute fast and her condition of anuria (absence of urine). After 10 long years of paralysis which she had offered as Eucharistic reparation for the conversion of sinners, on July 30, 1935, Jesus appeared to her saying: “I have put you in the world so that you may draw life only from Me, to bear witness to the world how precious the Eucharist is. [...]
On Good Friday, March 27, 1942, a new phase began for Alexandrina- She received no nourishment of any kind except the Holy Eucharist. This extraordinary miracle continued for 13 years and seven months until her death. Concerning her living on the Eucharist alone, Jesus told her in an ecstasy:
“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….”
The strongest chain that keeps souls in bondage with Satan is the flesh and the sins of impurity. Never has there been such a spread of vices, wickedness and crimes as there is today! Never has there been so much sin [...] The Eucharist – My Body and Blood – Behold, the Eucharist is the salvation of the world.”
Mary also appeared to her on September 12, 1949, with the Rosary in her hand, saying to her “The world is in agony and is dying in sin. My desire is for prayer, my desire is for penance. I have protected with this, my Rosary, all those whom I love and the whole world.” On October 13, 1955, the anniversary of the last apparition of the Blessed Mother at Fatima, Alexandrina was heard exclaiming: “I am happy, for I am on my way to heaven.” She died at 7:30 in the evening on that very day.
Blessed Alexandrina had visions of Jesus:
“One night Jesus appeared to me in natural dimensions, as if he had just been taken down from the cross. I could see deep, open wounds in his hands, his feet and his side. The Blood streamed from these wounds, and from the breast it came with such force that, after having drenched the garment around his waist, it flooded onto the floor. Jesus drew near to the edge of my bed. With great love I was able to kiss the wounds in his hands and I longed to kiss those in his feet. But due to my paralysis, I was unable to do so. Though I said nothing of this desire to Jesus, he knew what was in my mind and with his hands he held up one foot and then the other and offered them to me to kiss…. Enraptured, I contemplated the wound in his side and the Blood that was gushing from it until, filled with compassion, I threw myself into his arms and cried out, “O my Jesus, how much you have suffered for me!” I remained in his arms for some moments and he finally disappeared.”
‘My daughter, suffering is the key to Heaven. I have endured so much to open Heaven to all mankind, but for many it was in vain. They say “I want to enjoy life, I have come into the world only for enjoyment.” They say “Hell does not exist.” I have died for them, and they say they did not ask Me to do so. They have formed heresies against Me. In order to save them, I select certain souls and lay the cross on their shoulders. Happy the soul who understands the value of suffering! My cross is sweet if carried for love of Me… I chose you from your mother’s womb. I watch over you in your great difficulties. It was I who chose them for you, that I might have a victim to offer me much reparation. Lean on my Sacred Heart and find therein strength to suffer everything.’
She also was taunted by the enemy:
‘One moonlit night after prayers I felt a need to sleep, when suddenly into my room came a great darkness… I perceived a black shadow and saw it jump towards me, and it said to me, “I come on behalf of your Christ to carry you to Hell, bed and all.” I kissed the crucifix and the voice continued, “You kiss that wicked thing!” He then ordered me to do things that I cannot speak of… It was only when I took holy water that I was left in peace.’
Prayers of Blessed Alexandrina:
“My good Jesus, you are a prisoner and I am a prisoner. We are both prisoners. You are a prisoner for my welfare and happiness and I am a prisoner of your hands. You are King and Lord of all and I am a worm of the earth. I have abandoned you, thinking only of this world which is the destruction of souls. But now, repenting with all my heart, I desire only that which you desire, and to suffer with resignation. O my Jesus, I adore thee everywhere thou dwellest in the Blessed Sacrament. Where thou art despised, I stand by thee. I love thee for those who do not love. I make amends for those who offend thee. Come into my heart.”
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 ( mention your petition here) 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.
Blessed Alexandrina Maria da Costa, pray for us!