+ Alexandrina was born in Balazar, Portugal. As a young woman, she worked as a seamstress.
+ On Holy Saturday, 1918, three men tried to rape Alexandrina. In order to escape, she jumped out of a window, falling more than thirteen feet to the ground. Because of injuries sustained during her fall, she suffered gradual paralysis that left her confined to bed for the final thirty years of her life.
+ Throughout her illness, Alexandrina prayed for healing, but over time she began to see her suffering as a unique vocation, seeing that her life could help open the eyes of others to the effects of sin. She dedicated her life to inviting others to conversion and to offering a living witness of Christ’s Passion.
+ In 1938, and again in 1942, she had the grace to share in the Passion and for three hours her paralysis disappeared as she travelled the Way of the Cross with Christ.
+ The doubts of others—especially Church leaders—were a painful cross for her, but she persevered in her prayer and sacrifice. At this time, she became a lay member of the Salesian religious community. In the final years of her life, she offered her suffering for the sake of young people.
+ Blessed Alexandrina died on October 13, 1955. Her final words were, “I am happy, because I am going to Heaven.” She was beatified in 2004.
For prayer and reflection
“[We are] always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body.”—2 Corinthians 4:10
On this day, we also remember Blessed Àngel Presta Batllé and Blessed Antonio Ayet Canós, two Carmelite lay brothers who were killed in Barcelona, Spain, during the anti-Catholic violence of the Spanish Civil War. They were beatified with other martyrs in 2007.
Lord God, who gave the holy Virgin Alexandrina
gift upon gift from heaven,
grant, we pray,
that, imitating her virtues on earth,
we may delight with her in the joys of eternity.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Virgins)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.