FOR LOVE ALONE !
This work is a reconstruction of the salient moments in the life and spirituality of Blessed Alexandrina, taken from fragments of her writings, originally translated by the Italian couple Chiaffredo and Eugénie Signorile, from typewritten copies in Portuguese used in the Cause of her Beatification. The fragments have been selected and arranged chronologically in the form of an autobiography.
Signs and symbols – the phrases collected from the writings of Alexandrina or from other witnesses are printed in the wide left margin.
The source of all the writings, and their date, are quoted together with the writings.
The signs used are:
C (Letters to Padre Pinho)
C” (Letters to Padre Humberto Pasquale)
Cd (Various letters)
S (Feelings of the soul)
NoC (On the Calvary of Balasar, a biography written by Padre Pinho)
C G (Jesus Christ in Alexandrina, by Padre Humberto Pasquale)
Summ (Positio of the Introduction of the Cause)
Positio (Evaluation of the Virtues Vol. I)
The sign (...) indicates that a section of the original has been omitted for the sake of brevity. Without parenthesis these omissions are in the original text.
This new biography, or rather, autobiography, of Blessed Alexandrina, has been compiled by Eugénie Signorile, with a view to making this great mystic, and her message of the urgency of reparation, better known.
A. The Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, co-redemptrix and mediatrix, call us to make reparation for our offences against them. And to make up for that love which sinners refuse them.
The Mother of Sorrows, the being associated most closely with reparation for the sacrificial agony of our only Redeemer, wants to share her reparatory sufferings with other souls willing to offer themselves as victims in consoling the suffering Heart of Christ. Thus the Sacred Heart, when appearing to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, and revealing His Heart, said:
“Behold the Heart that has loved men so much and has had nothing in return but ingratitude! … You, at least, can make reparation!” (Autobiography, Nr. 53). And she offered herself as a victim of love to the sanctity of the justice of God.
B. Rapidly surveying the history of spirituality we observe:
- In the 18th century the great expiatory mystic St. Veronica Giuliani stands out.
- The servant of God Antonio Rosmini taught the offering of one’s own blood along with the Blood in the chalice during the Mass as a pledge of one’s own willingness to collaborate as victim.
- The message of the weeping Virgin at La Salette is an impressive appeal to souls to adopt an attitude of reparation.
- Saint Teresa of the Jesus Child and of the Holy Face offered herself as victim to His merciful love.
- In Fatima the Virgin showed her Heart encircled with thorns (13th June) and asked the little Shepherds repeatedly if they wanted to offer themselves to God “in an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended” (13th May) “in reparation for sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary”. (13th July).
The little Shepherds answered this call to reparation with extreme generosity, even with rigorous penances such as thirst and the wearing of a penitential rope.
- In 19th and 20th centuries orders and congregations dedicated to reparation were founded, e.g. the Reparatory Servants of Mary, the order of the Holy Face.
- Mary Pierina De Micheli, on a Holy Saturday, heard the voice of the crucified Jesus, indicating the kiss of peace among of the worshipers in the church of S. Peter in Sala, and saying to her:
“Nobody gives Me a kiss of love on the Face, to atone for the kiss of Judas?”
C. To repair means to restore, to give back, to make up for the lack of love owed to God the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit. The scale that is weighed down on one side with the weight of sin, is balanced on the other with one single act of love.
To repair means to bring a piece of torn cloth back to its original weave, to return a fractured organism to its original harmony.
This goes some way to explaining the mystery of Purgatory, about which Alexandrina spoke often, offering herself in reparation for suffering souls.
D. It was in this sense that Jesus chose and called Alexandrina “the greatest victim”.
This expression - if we don’t want to interpret it as an absolute superlative – is true of all victim souls, because each one has an individual, a unique greatness.
E. All martyrs are reparatory souls, and the 20th century had more martyrs than all the preceding centuries. Mystical reparatory Victims, contemporaries of Alexandrina are: Marthe Robin, Teresa Neumann, St. Padre Pio, the venerable Lucia Mangano, Teresa Musco, and the venerable Mother Speranza. Such people, like others spread throughout the world, are, moreover, stigmatized. They almost constitute a mystical community of reparation. Among the mystical reparatory souls emerges Mother Carmela of the Cross, the Poor Clare mystic who founded the Community, “Little Victims of the Desires of Jesus and of the Immaculate Heart of Mary”.
F) The mission of Alexandrina is summarized in this phrase: “I offer myself as victim to the Lord… to suffer, to love, to make reparation”.
And Jesus confirms:
“The Tabernacle, the Rosary and my victims, the victim of this Calvary, are enough for pardon and peace to be given to the world”.
Like a pygmy contemplating a giant, I reflected on some points concerning the great figure that is Blessed Alexandrina, urged by the strong desire of enkindling in the reader a holy need to imitate her virtues and propagate her message.
But as I was incapable of adequately communicating what I saw, I thought I would let Alexandrina speak for herself, and so I prepared a composition with excerpts of her writings, ordered chronologically. Thus was born this “almost autobiography”. I hope, however, that one day a scholar, full of faith and with a pure heart, might write the beautiful and definitive biography that this great Beata deserves.
I trust everything to the Immaculate Virgin, whose heart is aflame with love and trust.
8th December of 2005
Alexandrina first saw the light of day on 30th March 1904, but “her sign” had already appeared in the land in 1832! Let us look closer at this claim.
On the morning of 21st June 1832, the feast of Corpus Christi, the worshipers at the church in that part of Balasar called Calvary were astonished and awed to find a great cross formed of two mounds of soil on the ground. The earth of this cross was of quite a different colour from that of the surrounding earth. They swept and threw water on it but this only served to darken the colour, which it still presents to pilgrims today.
From the testimony of the parish priest of that time we know that people started to come to see it, offering flowers and leaving donations.
With this money a chapel was built to shelter the “Holy Cross of Balasar”.
A Confraternity was born.
Little more than a century later, Jesus himself disclosed the secret of that cross, speaking to Alexandrina in three ecstasies.
Here are some of His phrases:
A little more than a century ago I ordained that this parish be privileged with a cross as a sign of your crucifixion. The cross was ready, it wanted only a victim. But now I have chosen one to fulfil my divine plans; it is you.
Evil increased, the wave of the crimes reached its height. It was time for the victim to be immolated. You came, it was the world sacrificing you. S (5-12-47)
The world! The world! Its sinners have crucified Me and they crucify you too, my daughter.
Courage! Have compassion on them, save them! Remain on the cross, and always with joy. S (6-2-48)
Even in the midst of atrocious torments, her continual joy is the biggest miracle, the one that testifies to her sanctity. It will be her trademark: she will be called “the Saint of the Smile”.
All things are proof of love!
Oh, Balasar, if you do not respond ! … Cross of earth for the victim who was taken from nothing…victim who is welcomed by God and who has always existed in His eyes.
Victim of the world, but so enriched with heavenly wealth, who has given all to Heaven and, for love to souls, accepts all! S (21-01-55)
As we read we will see how perfect a definition this is of our subject.
 Cfr. in La Gloria dell’Uomo dei Dolori nel Sorriso di Alexandrina, the chap. “Amare, riparare, soffrire” (pp. 281) by G.Giacometti-P.Sessa-E.Signorile. Ed. Segno, Tavagnacco (UD), 2005.
 Vide E.Signorile: “Alexandrina Maria da Costa: Purgatorio nel presente e nel futuro”, in Sete del Dio Viventi – Meditazioni sul Purgatorio negli Scritti dei Mistici, (pp. 193-213) by G.Giacometti-P Sessa. Ed. Segno, Tavagnacco (UD), 2003 (reprint, 2004).
 G.Giacometti-P Sessa, In noi una Cosa Sola… come Noi – Nel vortice dei Tre, Milano, 1992.
On St. Margaret Mary Alacoque and on reparation cfr. APedriani, “Margherita Maria Alacoque”, in Dizionario enciclopedico di spiritualità/2, 1489-1494, edited by E.Ancilli, Città Nuova Editrice, 1990.
A.Tessarolo, “Riparazione”, in Dizionario enciclopedico di spiritualità, idem/3, 2175-2177.