Alexandrina Maria da Costa
|Blessed Alexandrina of Balasar|
Portrait of Blessed Alexandrina in public veneration at the Parish church of Balasar.
|Virgin and «Victim of the Eucharist»|
|Born||March 30, 1904
Balasar, Póvoa de Varzim, Portugal
|Died||October 13, 1955
Balasar, Póvoa de Varzim, Portugal
|Honored in||Roman Catholic Church|
|Beatified||April 25, 2004 by Pope John Paul II|
|Major shrine||Parish church of Balasar (where her body rests)|
Alexandrina Maria da Costa (30 March 1904 – 13 October 1955), also known as Blessed Alexandrina of Balasar, was a Portuguese mystic of the Eucharist, who was born and died in Balasar (a rural parish of Póvoa de Varzim). Alexandrina left many written works, which have been studied mainly in Italy by Fr. Umberto Pasquale and Signorile couple. On 25 April 2004 she was declared blessed by Pope John Paul II who stated that "her secret to holiness was love for Christ".
Early life 
In her teens she started to work, sewing garments along with her sister in Balasar.
Alexandrina said in her memories that when she went with other girls to the countryside, she ran from them and picked flowers that she later used to make flower carpets to Senhora das Dores Church in Póvoa de Varzim. One day, she started bleeding from her head, due to a crown of spines, she said. Jesus spoke to her and called her Alexandrina das Dores (Alexandrina of Sorrows).
At 14 years old, in March 1918 an incident changed her life. Her former employer along with three other men tried to break into her room. To escape them, Alexandrina jumped 13 feet down from a window, barely surviving. Her spine was broken from the fall and she suffered gradual paralysis that confined her to bed from 1925 onward. She remained bed-ridden for about 30 years.
Later life 
In June 1938, based on the request of Father Mariano Pinho, several bishops from Portugal wrote to Pope Pius XI, asking him to consecrate the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, based on the request of Alexandrina Maria da Costa. At that time Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli (later Pope Pius XII) was the secretary of the state of the Vatican, and he later performed the consecration of the world. However, there is no specific evidence at the Vatican that Pius XII acted on behalf of Alexandrina Maria da Costa.
According to her Vatican biography, from March 1942, for about 13 years until her death, she received no food except for the Holy Eucharist, and her weight dropped to about 33 kilograms (i.e. approximately 73 pounds). She was examined by medical doctors, with no conclusion.
Based on the advice of a priest, her sister kept a diary of Alexandrina's words and mystical experiences. According to her Vatican autobiography Jesus spoke to her, at one point saying: "You will very rarely receive consolation... I want that while your heart is filled with suffering, on your lips there is a smile". In 1944, she joined the "Union of Salesian Cooperators", offering her suffering for the salvation of souls and for the sanctification of youth.
Based on her request, the following words were written on her tombstone:
- "Sinners, if the dust of my body can be of help to save you, come close, walk over it, kick it around until it disappears. But never sin again: do not offend Jesus anymore! Sinners, how much I want to tell you.... Do not risk losing Jesus for all eternity, for he is so good. Enough with sin. Love Jesus, love him!".
In Ireland there is an Alexandrina Society that spreads knowledge of her life and teachings.The aims of the Society are 1) To spread devotion to Alexandrina and make her known, 2) To pray for the conversion of sinners, 3) To pray for Priests and acknowledge any favours received, 4) To pray for members' intentions.
See also 
- Biography at the Vatican website
- Vatican web site: John Paul II Homily
- Michael Freze, 1993, They bore the wounds of Christ, OSV Publishing ISBN 0-87973-422-1 page 279
- "Na Capela da Senhora das Dores e na Matriz" (in Portuguese). Alexandrina de Balazar. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
- Totus tuus: John Paul II's program of Marian consecration and entrustment by Msgr Arthur Burton Calkins 1992 ISBN 0-9635345-0-5 page 97
Further reading 
- "Alexandrina: The Agony and the Glory". Francis Johnston 1949 Tan Books, Rockford, Illinois)
- "Alexandrina da Costa: The Mystical Martyr of Fatima". Leo Madigan. 2005. (Fatima Orphel Books, Fatima, Portugal.
- Sanctuary of Alexandrina of Balasar - Official Site
- English biography of Blessed Alexandrina
- Polyglot website
- Autobiography (in Italian)