Alexandrina of Balazar

Blessed Alexandrina of Balazar
Alexandrina de Balazar.jpg
Portrait of Blessed Alexandrina in a prayer-card
Virgin / Victim soul / Salesian Cooperator
Born(1904-03-30)30 March 1904
Balazar, Póvoa de Varzim, Portugal
Died13 October 1955(1955-10-13) (aged 51)
Balazar, Póvoa de Varzim, Portugal
Venerated inCatholic Church
Beatified25 April 2004, St. Peter's Square, Vatican by Pope John Paul II
Major shrineSanctuary Alexandrina of Balazar (where her body rests)
FeastOctober 13
AttributesMember of the Association of Salesian Cooperators
PatronageYouth people; against sexual temptations; penitent women

Alexandrina Maria da Costa (30 March 1904 – 13 October 1955), best known as Blessed Alexandrina of Balazar, was a Portuguese mystic and victim soul, member of the Association of Salesian Cooperators, who was born and died in Balazar (a rural parish of Póvoa de Varzim). Alexandrina left many written works, which have been studied mainly in Italy by Father Umberto Pasquale. On 25 April 2004 she was declared blessed by Pope John Paul II who stated that "her secret to holiness was love for Christ".[1]

Early life

General view of Balazar where lived and died Blessed Alexandrina.

Alexandrina Maria da Costa was born on 30 March 1904, in Balazar, a rural parish of Póvoa de Varzim, Portugal. Her father abandoned the family when she was very young. She had only eighteen months' schooling before being sent to work on a farm at the age of nine. In her teens she started to work in Balazar as a seamstress along with her sister.[2]

Alexandrina said that when she went with other girls to the countryside, she picked flowers that she later used to make flower carpets to the Church of Our Lady of Sorrows 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. Until age 19, Alexandrina was still able to "drag herself" to church where, hunched over, she would remain in prayer, to the great amazement of the parishioners. During the early years, Alexandrina asked the Blessed Mother for the grace of a cure. She suffered gradual paralysis that confined her to bed from 1925 onward. She remained bed-ridden for about 30 years.[2][3]

The parish priest lent her a statue of the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the month of May. She asked for a little altar to be fixed to the wall by her bed where it was graced with the statue of Our Lady of Fatima and decorated with flowers and candles.