Thursday, 18 July 2013

Cause of Blessed Alexandrina Maria da Costa

Look at this news published by the Salesian News Agency (ANS):

July 17, 2013 - Portugal - Initiatives to promote the cause of Blessed Alexandrina Maria da Costa

(ANS – Balasar) – Celebrations were held at Balasar, Portugal, on Sunday, July 14, to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Fr. Mariano Pinho, a Jesuit and the first spiritual director of Blessed Alexandrina Maria da Costa. Some members of the Salesian Family from Portugal and Italy took part, as did Fr. Pierluigi Cameroni, postulator general of the causes of the saints of the Salesian Family.
To commemorate this great spiritual director of Bl. Alexandrina, an exhibition of his life was organized and two talks were given, one by Fr. Darioo Pedroso, SJ, and the other by a Salesian Cooperator, Maria Rita Scrimieri. The day ended with a solemn concelebration.
Interest has been growing in the spirituality and the message of Bl. Alexandrina since the time of her beatification in 2004. Every weekend, between 3,000 and 5,000 people visit the places that preserve the memory of her life and testimony. In response to requests from many pilgrims for accommodation and spiritual accompaniment, on July 14 the diocese of Braga with Archbishop Jorge Ferreira da Costa Ortiga, the parish of Balasar with its pastor Fr. Manuel Casado Neiva, and the Alexandrina de Balasar Foundation, inaugurated a competition for the planning and building of a Eucharistic shrine dedicated to Bl. Alexandrina.
Work was also started on the critical edition of the writings of the mystic from Balasar. The Salesian Family is present in Balasar with the Da Mihi Animas, Cetera Tolle (Give me souls, take the rest of) Spirituality Center, approved by the Portuguese Province and promoted and served Ms. Scrimieri.
Bl. Alexandrina, great devotee of the Eucharist and spokeswoman for the entrustment of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, had as her second spiritual director Fr. Umberto Maria Pasquale, SDB, who also became a great promoter of her cause for beatification. He encouraged Alexandrina to continue to dictate her diary when he noticed the spiritual heights she had reached. She did so in a spirit of obedience until her death.
In 1944 Alexandrina became a member of the Association of Salesian Cooperators. She wanted her certificate of enrollment placed “where it would be always before her eyes” so that she could collaborate with her suffering and her prayer in the salvation of souls, especially those of the young. Her witness underlines the need for constant personal conversion, and she offers an outstanding example of the sacrificial dimension of the Salesian charism.

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