Thursday, 11 October 2012

THE MARTYRDOM OF THE LAST TEN YEARS (3)


The last phase   

We have exhausted the direct sources, the Letters to Fr Pinho and the Diary; let’s use the other sources: C G (Cristo Gesù in Alexandrina), NoC (No Calvário de Balasar) .
About the sufferings, we have two letters of Dr. Azevedo to Fr Pinho. One is of 10th January 1955: 
Alexandrina is prostrated as never before. She is reaching the top of her Calvary… It seems that everything has evolved towards this climax. (NoC, p. 299 port.)  

The other is of 17th October 1955, four days after her death. 
In the last months her pains were horrible.  
Lately she been suffering immensely, and it seems to me that her illness, her pains, were of supernatural origin, that origin referred by Henri Bon, when speaks of the supernatural diseases. (NoC, pp. 298-299, port.) 

And a letter, to Fr Umberto, from Doctor Irene de Azevedo, daughter of Dr. Azevedo (a dear friend who, in place of Deolinda, had often written down what Alexandrina dictated for her diaries); here are some lines: 
We had the sensation that in that room of pain something tremendously great and mysterious was happening: that the last moments had arrived for a victim who had been asked for a great reparation. 
Standing next to her, I tried to give to her a little consolation by wetting her dry lips. I did not dare to speak to her, for fear of increasing her suffering (...)
She insistently asked that God take her quickly to Heaven: it was the only prayer worthy of her. (...) What an expression she had! Holy resignation to the will of God, but suffering to the point of terror, such suffering that a soul can only undergo with the grace and a great help of the Lord. 
Since then I have an idea of what the Passion and Death of the Lord would have been. (...) Contemplating her most painful face, I seemed to hear the phrase of Jesus: “Father, why have you abandoned me?”  Everything was consummated. (C G, p. 694) 

In September, the martyr Alexandrina had the generosity of allowing Deolinda to participate in a three-day spiritual retreat in Fatima. It was a heroic effort, because only Deolinda knew the best way to attend to her during these latter times of atrocious pain. 
Alexandrina, who felt that she was already near the end, wanted to give Deolinda, with the retreat’s infusion of spirituality, the strength to support the great blow of her death. (C G p. 691)   

In the beginning of “her” month, she hears the announcement of her departure. 
Today, 2nd October, the day of the Holy Angels, I felt that someone had touched in my shoulder and I heard Angels singing. I asked:  
Who will sing with the Angels?   Our Lord answered:  
You, you, you, soon, soon, soon. (NoC, p. 299, port.) 

In 1965 Deolinda told to Fr Umberto as follows: 
It happened, if I am not mistaken, on 7th October 1955. I had work in the house, watching the stonemasons. My sister called me saying:  
- Deolinda, you have run away from me!  I answered her: - I went, but I’m coming back straightaway!
I sat down next to her, because it was already difficult to hear what she was saying, and she gave me the money destined for the missions and the purse of the money for the house.  This was usual; I was always impressed with the way Alexandrina always managed our meagre finances, as well as money for charities. (C G, p. 691, note 17) 

The 12th   

At 2am Alexandrina said to Deolinda who was looking after her: 
I am going to tell to you something that I haven’t told you yet in order not to upset you. And this is it: on 1st February, early in the morning, I heard a voice say: 
Make an act of resignation at the coming of your beloved Father (Fr. Pinho). (…)
I did not dictate this at the time so that you wouldn’t know. (C G, p. 691) 
Later she added: 
As soon as it is day, I want you to make three phone calls. 
1. To the girl Irene Gomes, asking her to come home with our mother and to bring all her clothes because she will be staying as I am going to die (the mother was at the seaside taking a cure). 
2. To Fr Alberto Gomes (her confessor), as a debt of gratitude on my part and, if he agrees, to repeat publicly the act of resignation at the arrival of Fr Pinho.
Meanwhile you will tell uncle Joaquin so that he goes to call Dr. Azevedo. 
3. To Mrs. Ana Pimenta (a friend and benefactor, who had expressed a wish to be present at Alexandrina’s death).   

During the morning she said several times: 
I desire Heaven. I do not have the slightest regret at leaving this earth. 
All the darkness of the soul has finished (...) 
It is sun. It is life. It is everything. It is God!
 Deolinda at one point asked her: Do you want anything? 
Heaven, because I can no longer stay on earth. 
I want to receive the Sacrament of the Sick, while I am still lucid.

In an illumination on the future, she exclaims:
One day, it will be very beautiful here! O Jesus, your will be done, not mine!

Around 3pm the same day, in the presence of her confessor, Dr. Azevedo, relatives and some close friends, she made an act of acceptance of death.
Let’s look at the report made by the priest who attended her at the moment of death, Msgr. Mendes do Carmo. 
When all was prepared in that Calvary-Room, she made her spontaneous Act of Resignation in front of all. 
– O Jesus Love, O divine Spouse of my soul, I, who in life always sought to give You the greatest glory, I want, at the hour of my death, to make You an act of resignation upon the arrival of my dear Spiritual Father; and thus, my beloved Jesus, if with this Act I give greater glory to the most Holy Trinity, I submit myself joyfully to your eternal designs… only to beg from Your mercy Your Kingdom of love, the conversion of the sinners, the salvation of the dying and the release of souls from purgatory.  My God, as I always consecrated my life to You, I offer to You now its end, accepting with resignation the death, along with its circumstances, that gives You greater glory.   

Later, in a clear voice, she asked for pardon, she thanked and forgave all…
Still later she received, in an angelic way, the Sacrament that purifies all vestiges of imperfections and guilt. 
The room was full of sobbing and Alexandrina, dying, said: 
- Do not cry, because I am going to Heaven. 
And she repeated:  
Do not cry, because I am going to Heaven! (C G, p. 824)  

Here are some phrases that she said at intervals: 
- O Jesus, I cannot stay longer on Earth. 
O Jesus, life costs; Heaven costs! 
I suffered everything in this life for souls.
I squeezed myself in this bed until I had given my blood for souls. 
I forgive all… The torments were for my good. 
O Jesus, forgive the whole world! … 
I thank those who did good to me; I will pray for them in Heaven. 
I am so glad to be going to Heaven! (Smiling and looking at a point above).

To the doctor who during the afternoon, wished her well before leaving, she said: 
What clarity, what light! It is all light (smiling).  
The darkness has disappeared. (C G, pp. 692-693)  

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