ALEXANDRINA, I WANT TO LEARN FROM YOU!
A short synthesis of practical passages from Alexandrina’s work
By C.E. SIGNORILE
ALEXANDRINA AND THE PRAYER
Praise and gratefulness
True prayer is a contact of the human with the divine, and is essentially love; a colloquy of love - also made of silences - between the creature and its Creator.
Alexandrina is completely love;, in every fibre of her being she fully lives the union with God-Love, therefore she is an “incarnation of love” in each prayer, just as in each moment of her life.
In her school may we, also, learn to pray!
Let us quickly summarize several aspects of her prayer:
When I see flowers, I admire, I praise and I adore the power of God…
She feels herself incapable of adequate praise, therefore:
I ask all created things that praise the Lord to praise Him for me. S (19-03-48)
Full of longing, I looked the sky and I said:
“Oh, how beautiful is The one who created you!” C (09-08-41)
From the contemplation of creation springs an amazement that makes all our being vibrate with recognition, because we do not feel unconnected, contemplating out of wonder alone, but involved, even being a unit of nothingness in The Everything. It is worship, with grateful love, for each individual thing; it is for this reason that everything has been given to us. For us Christians there is also the Incarnation and the Eucharist!
On our path we find moments of joy, for which for which we are spontaneously thankful:
I offer thanks for all the benefits that I receive, the ones that I know about and the ones that I don’t, and for all the benefits that I have received and that I will receive in time and eternity, which is the Heaven. And I thank those that are granted to souls through me.
I offer thanks for those who do not thank Our Lord, for the whole of humanity.
And she adds:
But I ask Jesus - her love for Jesus is so exquisite! - not to accept this gratitude as coming from me, but as if it was each one was offering his own thanks, so that Jesus will not feel ingratitude from any soul. S (07-08-53)
On the other hand it is very difficult for us to be thankful for the periods of pain; this is contrary to our human nature. But the Christian knows that all that happens is willed by God who is love, therefore – when he has progressed to a certain spiritual state – he has also progressed enough to appreciate the reason for the pain and be thankful for it.
Here Alexandrina is masterful:
Every day, shortly after receiving Holy Communion, I pray the “Magnificat” in thanksgiving for the pains or joys of each day before they come. S (25-01-46)
I have had joys that have soon died, and thorns that have long been piercing me.
I receive everything as little tendernesses from Jesus; everything I offer to Him and I am thankful to Him in my heart. S (01-08-47)
Thank you, thank you, Jesus, in the consolation and in the pain, in life and in death. S (03-04-53)
Repentance, conversion and request for pardon
I was very bad at the end of this afternoon. Surely I disgusted Him (Jesus). I am terribly sorry about it.
It is in the smallest things that I show who I am. C (28-06-40)
Dear Celestial Mother, let me cry rivers of tears of repentance for my many sins, sins which I commit in spite of the many benefits I receive from You and from Jesus. S (08-04-49)
Repentance must be followed by conversion.
Do You remember how much I have offended You? Now I want only to love You. C (25-09-41)
Repentance and the will to change lead to a request for pardon.
O Celestial Mother, ask Jesus to pardon me! Tell Him that it is the prodigal son who comes back to the home of his good Father, disposed to follow Him, to love Him, to adore Him, to obey Him and to imitate Him. (A p. 17)
O my Jesus, o my Jesus, pardon, pardon, pardon for my sins! Pardon for the sins of all mankind! S (13-11-53)
The love Jesus is her sole aim, always present in everything she does.
How many are those who hate me and disdain me!
How many are those who calumniate me!
When I ask myself: what wrong have I done them? the thought that soon comes to mind is: what wrong did Jesus do to us, but to love us and to die for us? And soon I feel myself obliged to pardon them and to repeat many times: Pardon them, my Jesus, allow them to be converted so that they will be consumed in the fire of your divine love! S (13-05-43).
Invocation and supplication
Prayers of invocation and supplication must not be seen as requests for God to do our will, to support our desire, no! They must be expressions of a loving dependence of the creature on the Creator; they must come from a humble and loving heart that opens itself in all its depth and delivers itself to the Father to exposes its necessities with the confidence that - at the opportune moment - it will be favoured, if this is not opposed to the supreme Good, that is, to the will of God.
The supplications that Alexandrina directs to Heaven are very beautiful examples in this sense: they are presented with the humility, of one who feels that she is very small, indeed nothingness, before Him to Whom she prays; her confidence, her faith, in the mercy of God, confidence born of reciprocal love; the insistence in asking, just as Jesus told us to, as we see in the Gospels. Here are some examples:
Listen to my prayers, listen, listen, Jesus!
do not look at the this poor person, poor and needy, who asks You, but look at your divine promises and your own command in telling me to ask things of you. I ask, Jesus, I ask and I trust. S (01-02 52)
I believe that you will not disdain my nothingness and that you will have compassion for me. Give me your grace, guide me always in your ways” S (29-10-48)
Jesus, I ask to be saint, as you want me to be, and if you want me to be. I ask to be able to love You in the way that your Sacred Heart desires. S (14-09-45)
I am so far from being perfect, from being able to deal with all the charity of Jesus. Help me, my Love, to turn fully to you, to relocate myself truly in your divine Heart.
What anxieties I have of loving You and of loving my neighbour! What hunger for your love, what hunger for perfection, what anxieties for Heaven!
I am afraid of my own weakness, I fear myself in everything and for everything. S (05-08-49)
My God, my God, what fighting, what suffering, what combat between what I am and what I should be. My nature is ever in rebellion and yet I am anxious only to do the will of my Lord!
I call, I call for Jesus and for our heavenly Mother, I ask for the sweetness, the meekness, the patience of Their divine Hearts.
I ask that the Holy Spirit enlighten me and assist me. S (22-06-51)
Jesus, have pity, feel sorry for me, enrich this my nothingness, fill me with your love!
I do not ask you to work wonders in me that can be seen: I ask you for the wonder and the wealth of your love. C (14-05-41)
Give me, O Jesus, the fire of your most holy Heart.
You be my strength, give me your peace! S (15-03-46)
Notice that even when she asks for material aid, such as the money needed when her mother was running the risk of losing their mortgaged home, her prayer does not lack the spiritual note:
O Jesus, I do not ask for honours, or great things, or wealth from You, but I ask that You leave us our little home, so that my mother and sister (she thinks that her death is near) have somewhere to live until the end of their lives, so that my sister has a garden to pick the flowers to adorn Your altar in the church, on Saturdays.
O Jesus, all the flowers are for You.
Jesus, rescue us, lest we perish! Spread this message far and wide, to those who can help us (the necessary money did indeed come, from Lisbon, through the mediation of her director, Fr Pinho)!
I do not ask You to answer my prayer in this way, or in that, because I do not know which is best! I trust in You” (A p. 24-25)
The invocations that Alexandrina addresses to Our Lady are present in almost all the prayers of supplication: she sees Her as an aid, as a mediatrix.
As an aid in loving:
O Mother of Jesus, give me your love so that with it I can love the Lord, who is yours and mine! S (15-12-44)
As an aid in the participation of Holy Mass:
(...) at the moment of the Sacred Communion I ask Her I that I might communicate as She would communicate, if She were receiving Jesus. S (13-07-51)
As an aid with Her example:
Mother of Jesus, Give me comfort to bear the cross Your way;to bear the cross in this bitterness, darkness, and utter dryness. S (15-12-44)
When I suffer with the death that I feel in myself, I say: “My heavenly Mother is my life.”
When I do not have light nor strength to suffer, I repeat: “My heavenly Mother is the light, my heavenly Mother is the strength.”
When I feel that all my life is a fraud and that I lie to myself, I murmur: “It doesn’t matter to me, my heavenly Mother is not deceived, She is the truth.” And in all things I go on repeating the same thing: I want what my heavenly Mother wants, I go where She goes. S (15-09-50)
My poor prayers are unable to reach Heaven. I want to make them precious and valuable, but I cannot.
I ask my beloved Mother Herself to talk to Jesus and offer everything to Him, to mention everything to Him, and to do my asking for me. C (07-11-40)
I will to ask (my heavenly Mother) to obtain from Jesus a pure and holy love, a love without limits to help us to bear the cross, the tribulations and anguish that Jesus sends us; to take them with joy and love, with blind confidence, and that in everything we do His most holy will. (06-12-39)
Dear heavenly Mother, see if You can find in my nothingness some little bits (of suffering) that You can transform into flowers to offer my Jesus for me. C (01-06-39)
Heavenly Mother, heavenly Mother, ask your Jesus for light for your little daughter, ask for comfort for my soul! C (23-06-41)
Dear heavenly Mother, come to earth and take your little daughter in your most holy arms: I want to give to You my heart; only You can full it with your love so that I will be capable of loving Jesus.
Set me on fire with rays of love so strong that I will be able to set the world on fire.
Jesus is not loved! With my pain and your love, I will make Him be loved. I sure that in this way I will also love.
Heavenly Mother, heavenly Mother, how glorious it will be to see all hearts burning for Jesus in one single ray of love! C (15-01-40)
Heavenly Mother, dear heavenly Mother, teach to me to love Jesus! I love Him with your love, and love You with His. S (07-05-49)
The Christian participates in the tribulations of all fellow Christians, suffers for their tribulations and intercedes for them:
I pray to You for all the afflicted, of every kind, that have approached me to intercede for them.I pray to You for all those who recommend themselves to me and for those who want to recommend themselves.I pray to You for the entire world, believers or disbelievers, also such as our President Salazar and our governors.
And now, my Jesus, I pray to You for the souls in Purgatory. S (14-04-50)
Also at the height of the mystical life (when she receives the Eucharist from the hand of her Guardian Angel) she does not concentrate on herself:
(...) my Highest Good, I am on fire, I am burning intensely, stronger and with more light. Blessed be your love and your mercy to me!
I press You to my heart and I ask you, my good Jesus, to embrace those that I love, to take all those around me and belong to me and all Your children, to yourself. Embrace all humanity, Jesus; forgive it, forgive it always! S (11-04-52)
Alexandrina’s main preoccupation is with spiritual dangers. Her mission is to save souls, and to inflame hearts with love of the Eucharist. Look how she prays for her family:
I pray to You for all those who are dear to me and for all my family: also for those who have strayed on the wrong path, convert them and those who are in Your grace, kindle the divine fire in them and burn them in Your love! S (14-04-50)
Alexandrina prays and offers her suffering for a beggar who has knocked at her door; he dies by falling into a river. In anguish, she asks Jesus:
— My Jesus, was the soul of that man who fell to the river saved?
— Yes, my daughter, it was at half past eleven in the evening that he appeared in my divine presence. How beautiful and charming it was; when he saw Me in front of him, even before I asked him to give an account of himself, he said to me:
— Forgive me, forgive me, my Jesus! You alone are my Lord.
I forgave to him and he was saved.
She had asked also for another soul. She asks:
— And the other also, my Jesus?— Yes, my daughter, and still many more; and they are safe through you, through your sufferings.
Pray very much for them. I am full of compassion… S (26-04-46)
She also prays for the cure of sick people. To the prayer she adds sacrifices, and an increase of suffering.
Of course, she is not always heard and some die! Let us look at two examples of a cure.
For the serious illness of the wife of her doctor and friend, Azevedo, Alexandrina pledged herself totally:
I asked them to light the bulbs and the candles and for all of them to kneel.
I offered to Our Lord my body and my soul as a victim for the patient; I marshalled all Heaven towards this end.
And she asked:
Leave her, leave her, Jesus, to finish rearing her little sons; prove to me now the love that you have for me! S (24-12-48)
She was cured. She eventually died on 21st February 1986.
At the end of 1949 Alexandrina’s Mother fell seriously ill. We can imagine the anguish, the fear that she might die! Moreover Alexandrina had scruples about not living “well” this tragic moment:
But I do not suffer perfectly, do I, my Jesus?
You are sad because I cried?
No, my daughter, no! Also I cried and my blessed Mother cried. I know everything.
Later He added:— Tell me one thing. If I asked you for your dear mother, would you not give her to me willingly?
— I give, I give, my Jesus; but I do not give her to you without tears, I cannot; this I do not promise.
(...) O Jesus, if it is not detrimental to the salvation of her soul, leave her some more time next to me. Give me more, more sufferings, overload me and alleviate her.
And, if it is not for the good of her soul, I want to lose everything, but may her soul be saved.
But what I want, o Jesus, is that you take her straight to Heaven; do not refuse me this .
— Ask, ask, my daughter; nothing will be denied you, if it is not damaging to souls.
I promise you, when I call your mother to Me, to take her straight to Heaven, to my glory. S (02-12-49)
She died after Alexandrina, on 24th January 1961.
Perseverance in prayer,
even without strength, and in a blackout of Faith.
Alexandrina always remained close to God, even when she was completely without strength for vocal prayer and struggling with temptations against Faith.
It seemed to her that she was not able to pray for the intensity of her multiple sufferings, though in reality her whole being was consumed with prayer.
What my poor body has suffered during these days, only Jesus knows; the agonies and the tortures of the soul, only He can understand them.
This martyrdom of soul and body has hindered my ability to pray, to be able to meditate on the Passion of Jesus.
I imagined Him on the cross quickly and I only said:
What Jesus suffered Jesus for my love! He suffered so much that He died for me. And will I have courage to deny some few sufferings of soul or body?
Oh, no, my Jesus! With your grace I will not deny You anything: I am your victim, night and day. S (04-04-47)
I have scarcely prayed at all because of my sufferings, my painful martyrdom. I had almost completely forgotten about heavenly things: I have said to Jesus and to our Heavenly Mother that this does not represent a lessening of my love, but a willingness to suffer (we are in 1954). S (19-02-54)
My vocal prayer has been almost non-existent, but my spirit, in the midst of the flame of suffering, didn’t disunite itself from Jesus, did not leave suffering to offer the nothing of its nothingness to Him. S (24-02-50)
I passed a vigil night: I suffered very much; I could not pray.
Only sometimes I could manage an ejaculation. But I was always close to Jesus, and I was always His victim.
My heart was in pain and love anxieties. S (07-11-53)
Many times her soul expresses itself through the look:
O, how much suffers this poor body that nor tatter is!
I do not know and I cannot speak to my good Jesus and to the beloved Heavenly Mother: I listen to Them, with the aim that my look gives and asks for everything to Them. O, poor me! What a painful to live for the body and for the soul! S (06-04-51)
Tormented by the doubts on the Faith truths, with a very steady will, always reanimated by the fire of her love to Jesus, she persists on repeating her `I believe', even without certainty:
I have horrible temptations against the Faith: everything seems me lie.
“I believe in God Almighty Father. Jesus, I believe in You; Jesus, in You I trust!”
I am in a furious sea. The black waves where I fight arrive at the Sky. S (09-08-46)
- O Jesus, I do not see You, I do not feel You, but I want to trust that it is You.
- Faith colloquy, pain and love colloquy, my daughter: it was what Jesus has said to you. Yes, without the love, your madness of love, you could not be repairing victim, you could not suffer and thus live of Faith without feeling. Trust, trust. S (16-04-54; let us remember that Alexandrina is victim-soul)
My life is pain and darknesses, without interruption of one alone moment. (…)
All the other life (the spiritual) was erased, died; even the name of Jesus and our Heavenly Mother! Heaven, the blessed Homeland, everything was erased, everything disappeared. It seemed that these sweet names did not exist: Jesus, our Heavenly Mother, Heaven with the divine Trinity whom I loved so much, had died for me.
I felt this, but it did not stop me from crying out with my heart and soul: “Jesus, Heavenly Mother, save me, I am yours! O Heaven, O Heaven, come to my aid!”
I shouted like this in the height of my pain.
And without feeling or hearing anything of comfort and joy, I bent myself to receive the cross and, as always, I repeated: “Jesus, I am Your victim” S (16-08-46)
The affliction is such that it seems to me that all my being is destroyed.
Then I call for Jesus, for that Jesus whom I feel to have lost along with our Heavenly Mother, for that Jesus in whom I feel I do not believe.
Therefore, how many times, my God, has it seemed to me that I have lost the Faith and no longer believe the truths of the Holy Church, nor in eternal life! Even if I don’t believe in anything, I invoke the Heaven in its power. I go on repeating `I believe in eternal life!' S (14-01-55)
I continue to pass the nights in vigil; I pass some nights in which I sleep some minutes, if what I do can be called “sleep”.
I pray, I pray, I speak much with Heaven, without receiving comfort from it: all my praying does not appear to reach there.
All my life has been erased, as if in me there is nothing. Heaven is darkness, the earth is darkness and in me is darkness.
It is a combat, it is a fight to live without soul, to live without Faith.
O my God, my God, I do not have a guide nor a light to lead me. My abandonment reminds me of Yours.
The combat is hard. My feelings try to deny all things such as: God, the existence of the soul, and eternity.
I force myself to pray, as if all these things existed; and my anguish is infinite in giving myself to Jesus, in giving myself to souls. S (25-03-55)
But what the soul feels is not shared by the heart: she persists in grasping herself to the Faith, even if it seems to her that her martyrdom, and her fight against recalcitrant nature, are all in vain.
I believe, my God, I believe even if this my `I believe' of mine always seems a lie.
I repeated it many times today! Many times I called for Jesus and our Heavenly Mother:
Look at my heart and not at my feelings! The heart does not lie: everything is for You, for souls.
I believe, I believe! Save me, save me, Jesus! S (15-04-55)
I want to pray, to join myself to the Lord, and I cannot: I maintain this union as well as I can.
I offer Him all the thorns which, coming from this direction or that, find me and make me bleed.
But how, Lord, how to offer You anything when I am so useless? In darkness, in death and, above all, without Faith?
My God, what a horror! S (01-07-55, three months before her death).