Blessed Alexandrina Maria da Costa (1904-1955)

Born in Balasar, Portugal, as a child she received a solid Christian education. At age fourteen escaping from an attempted rape, she jumped out a window and was paralyzed as a result. For the last thirty years she was completely bedridden. Little by little, however, she came to see her suffering as a special vocation to be the Lord’s “victim”. She received special spiritual gifts. From 1938 to 1942, every Friday she lived the three-hour “Passion” of Jesus every Friday, having received the mystical grace to live in body and soul Christ’s suffering in his final hours. During these three hours, her paralysis was “overcome”, and she would relive the Stations of the Cross, her movements and gestures accompanied by excruciating physical and spiritual pain. On 27 March 1942, a new phase began for Alexandrina which would continue for 13 years and seven months until her death. She received no nourishment of any kind except the Holy Eucharist, at one point weighing as little as 73 pounds. Medical doctors remained baffled by this phenomenon and began to conduct various tests on Alexandrina, acting in a very cold and hostile way towards her. This increased her suffering and humiliation, but she remembered the words that Jesus himself spoke to her one day: “You will very rarely receive consolation… I want that while your heart is filled with suffering, on your lips there is a smile”. Fr Pasquale, who stayed close to Alexandrina throughout these years, ordered Alexandrina’s sister to keep a diary of her words and her mystical experiences. In 1944, Alexandrina became a member of the “Union of Salesian Cooperators” and offered her suffering for the salvation of souls and for the sanctification of youth..Alexandrina died on 13 October 1955. Her last words: “I am happy, because I am going to Heaven”. She was beatified in 2004.
(From the Vatican Website)
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