In June , based on the request of her spiritual director, Father Mariano Pinho, several bishops from Portu. World Youth Day will be a Catholic festival held in Lisbon, Portugal, and it will be celebrated in summer The Incredulity of Saint Thomas by Caravaggio. Since the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ on Calvary, a number of people have claimed to have had visions of Jesus Christ and personal conversations with him.
Some people make similar claims regarding his mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Discussions about the authenticity of these visions have often invited controversy. The Catholic Church endorses a fraction of these claims, and various visionaries it accepts have achieved beatification, or even sainthood. The very first reported visions of Christ, and personal conversations with him, after his resurrection and prior to his ascension are found in the New Testament.
One of the most widely recalled Resurrection appearances of Jesus is the doubting Thomas conversation John between him and Thomas the Apostle after his death. The last book of the Bible itself is based on a series of visions. In the Book of Revelation, the author, often identified as John of Patmos, recorded visions that became part of the Ne. Pursuing enlightenment, Buddha first practiced severe asceticism before recommending a non-ascetic middle way. Ascetics may withdraw from the world for their practices or continue to be part of their society, but typically adopt a frugal lifestyle, characterised by the renunciation of material possessions and physical pleasures, and time spent fasting while concentrating on the practice of religion or reflection upon spiritual matters.
Contemporary mainstream Islam practices asceticism in the form of fasting during Ramadan by abstaining from all sensual pleasures, including food and water, f. Dark Night of the Soul Spanish: La noche oscura del alma is a poem written by the 16th-century Spanish mystic and poet St. John of the Cross. Poem and treatise of St. John of the Cross St. John of the Cross, in 8 stanzas of 5 lines each, narrates the journey of the soul to mystical union with God.
The journey is called "The Dark Night" in part because darkness represents the fact that the destination, God, is unknowable, as in the 14th century, mystical classic The Cloud of Unknowing, which, like St. John's poem, derives from the works of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite in the sixth century. Further, the path per se is unknowable. The first verse of the poem is translated: In an obscure night Fevered with love's anxiety O hapless, happy plight!
I went, none seeing me Forth. Immaculate Heart of Mary The Immaculate Heart of Mary is a devotional name used to refer to the interior life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, her joys and sorrows, her virtues and hidden perfections, and, above all, her virginal love for God the Father, her maternal love for her son Jesus, and her compassionate love for all people. However, this is a cause of some controversy, some seeing it as a form of liturgical latinisation. Also, roses or another type of flower may be wrapped around the heart.
There are, however, differences in t. The Salesians' charter describes the society's mission as "the Christian perfection of its associates obtained by the exercise of spiritual and corporal works of charity towards the young, especially the poor, and the education of boys to the priesthood". History In Don John Bosco "Don" being a traditional Italian honorific for priest opened a night school for boys in Valdocco, now part of the municipality of Turin in Italy.
In the following years, he opened several more schools, and in drew up a set of rules for his helpers, w. The Liddell—Scott Greek—English Lexicon gives the following simplified definition simplified for the noun: emptying, depletion, emptiness of life e. Vettius Valens depletion, low diet, as opposed to plerosis fullness e. Hippocrates waning of the moon e. Of these five times it is Phil , in which Jesus is said to have "emptied himself", which is the s. As an Anglican devotion, the Divine Mercy Society of the Anglican Church states that the chaplet can also be recited on Anglican prayer beads.
It is followed by Purgatorio and Paradiso. In the poem, Hell is depicted as nine concentric circles of torment located within the Earth; it is the "realm The three children claimed to have been visited by the Virgin Mary six times between May and October According to Lucia, on July 13, , around noon, the Virgin Mary entrusted the children with three secrets.
Christianity and Hellenistic philosophies experienced complex interactions during the first to the fourth centuries. As Christianity spread throughout the Hellenic world, an increasing number of church leaders were educated in Greek philosophy. The dominant philosophical traditions of the Greco-Roman world then were Stoicism, Platonism, and Epicureanism. Stoicism and, particularly, Platonism were readily incorporated into Christian ethics and Christian theology.
Historic development Christian assimilation of Hellenic philosophy was anticipated by Philo and other Greek-speaking Alexandrian Jews. One early Christian writer of the 2nd and early 3rd century, Clement of Alexandria, demonstrated Greek thought in writing, "Philosophy has been given to the Greeks as their own kind of Covenant, their foundation for the philos.
A biographer gave him the nickname, The Sleeping Prophet. A nonprofit organization, the Association for Research and Enlightenment, was founded to facilitate the study of Cayce's work. Some consider him the true founder and a principal source of the most characteristic beliefs of the New Age movement. He regarded them all as. Padre Pio became famous for exhibiting stigmata for most of his life, thereby generating much interest and controversy. Dante shown holding a copy of the Divine Comedy, next to the entrance to Hell, the seven terraces of Mount Purgatory and the city of Florence, with the spheres of Heaven above, in Michelino's fresco The Divine Comedy Italian: Divina Commedia is an Italian long narrative poem by Dante Alighieri, begun c.
It is widely considered to be the preeminent work in Italian literature and one of the greatest works of world literature. It helped establish the Tuscan language, in which it is written also in most present-day Italian-market editions , as the standardized Italian language. The narrative describes Dante's travels through Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise or Heaven, while allegorically the poem represents the soul's jo. In Christianity, Lectio Divina Latin for "Divine Reading" is a traditional monastic practice of scriptural reading, meditation and prayer intended to promote communion with God and to increase the knowledge of God's word.
First a passage of scripture is read, then its meaning is reflected upon. This is followed by prayer and contemplation on the Word of God. For example, given Jesus' statement in John "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you", an analytical approach would focus on the reason for the statement during the Last Supper, the biblical context, etc. In Lectio Divina, however, the practitioner "enters" and shares the peace of Christ rather than "dissecting" it. Christian mysticism refers to the development of mystical practices and theory within Christianity.
It has often been connected to mystical theology, especially in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christianity both the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox traditions. The attributes and means by which Christian mysticism is studied and practiced are varied. They range from ecstatic visions of the soul's mystical union with God to simple prayerful contemplation of Holy Scripture i.
The experiences of mystics are often framed within theological approaches to God, such as Quietism, Pietism, etc. Remember to add the Category:Christian mystics to the articles. It is an allegory telling of Dante's journey through Heaven, guided by Beatrice, who symbolises theology. It was written in the early 14th century. Allegorically, the poem represents the soul's ascent to God.
Introduction The Paradiso assumes the medieval view of the Universe, with the Earth surrounded by concentric spheres containing planets and stars. Mysticism is not so much a doctrine as a method of thought. Etymology Mystic marriage of Christ and the Church. In the Hellenistic world, a "mystikos" was an initiate of a mystery religion. Plan of Mount Purgatory. The poem was written in the early 14th century.
Venerated Catholics by Pope John Paul II
It is an allegory telling of the climb of Dante up the Mount of Purgatory, guided by the Roman poet Virgil, except for the last four cantos at which point Beatrice takes over as Dante's guide. Purgatory in the poem is depicted as a mountain in the Southern Hemisphere, consisting of a bottom section Ante-Purgatory , seven levels of suffering and spiritual growth associated with the seven deadly sins , and finally the Earthly Paradise at the top. Allegorically, the Purgatorio represents the penitent Christian life. The p.
The "Quietist" heresy was seen to consist of wrongly elevating "contemplation" over "meditation", intellectual stillness over vocal prayer, and interior passivity over pious action in an account of mystical prayer, spiritual growth and union with God one in which, the accusation ran, there existed the possibility of achieving a sinless state and union with the Christian Godhead.
Since the late seventeenth century, "Quietism" has functioned especially within Roman Catholic theology, though also to an extent within Protestant theology , as the shorthand for accounts which are perceived to fall foul of the same. She is recognized as a saint by the Catholic Church, and is inscribed in the General Roman Calendar, for optional celebration throughout the Roman Rite as a memorial, on November Life Little is known of the early life of Gertrude. At the age of four, she entered the monastery school at the monastery of St.
Mary at Helfta with much debate having occurred as to whether this monastery is best described as Benedictine or Cistercian , under the direction of its abbess, Gertrude of Hackeborn. It is speculated that she was offered as a child oblate to the church by devout parents. Given that Gertrude implies in the Herald that her parents were long dead at the time of writing, however, it is also possible that she entered the mona. A young Mohammed being recognized by the monk Bahira. Now in the collection of the Edinburgh University Library, Scotland.
The concept of the victim soul derives from the Roman Catholic teaching on redemptive suffering. Such a person is said to be one chosen by God to suffer more than most people during life, and who generously accepts the suffering, based on the example of Christ's own Passion.
The Catholic Church does not officially designate anyone as a victim soul. Every man has his own share in the Redemption. Each one is also called to share in that suffering through which the Redemption was accomplished. I myself will defend it as My own glory. The rays streaming out have symbolic meaning: red for the blood of Jesus which is the Life of Souls , and pale for the water which justifies souls Diary The whole image is a symbol of charity, forgiveness and love of God, referred to as the "Fountain. Therese Neumann.
She was born in the village of Konnersreuth in Bavaria, Germany, where she lived all her life. She was born into a large family with little income. She was a member of the Third Order of St. Ailments On 10 March , Therese Neumann was partially paralyzed after falling off a stool while attending to a fire in her uncle's barn. After one particular fall she claimed to have lost much of her eyesight, and in she claimed to have been blinded completely.
Bedridden, she reportedly developed horrible bed sores that sometimes exposed bone. Therese Neumann had been praying novenas in advance of this day. Therese Neum. Illumination accompanying the third vision of Part I of Scivias Scivias is an illustrated work by Hildegard von Bingen, completed in or , describing 26 religious visions she experienced. It is the first of three works that she wrote describing her visions, the others being Liber vitae meritorum and De operatione Dei also known as Liber divinorum operum. The second part consists of seven visions and deals with salvation through Jesus Christ, the Church, a.
Etymology The term is relatively common in classical texts, and has the meaning of "union" or "unity".
Each individual as a microcosm reflects the gradual ordering of the universe referred to as the macrocosm. In mimicking the demiurge divine mind , one unites with The One or Monad. Thus the process. Hesychasm is a mystical tradition of contemplative prayer in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Based on Jesus's injunction in the Gospel of Matthew that "when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray", hesychasm in tradition has been the process of retiring inward by ceasing to register the senses, in order to achieve an experiential knowledge of God see Theoria.
Gemma's mother, Aurelia Galgani, contracted tuberculosis. Because of this hardship, Gemma was placed in a private nursery school run by Elena and Ersilia Vallini when she was two-and-a-half years old. She was regarded as a highly intellig. A Lingua Ignota Latin for "unknown language" was described by the 12th century abbess of Rupertsberg, St. Hildegard of Bingen, OSB, who apparently used it for mystical purposes. To write it, she used an alphabet of 23 letters denominated litterae ignotae.
Grammatically it appears to be a partial relexification of Latin, that is, a language formed by substituting new vocabulary into an existing grammar. She is believed to have relayed the request from the Blessed Virgin Mary to create the famous Miraculous Medal of Our Lady of Graces worn by millions of people around the world. Her baptismal name was Zoe, after Saint Zoe, whose feast day falls on her birthday, but her family rarely used that.
Margaret Mary Alacoque, V. She was initially rebuffed by her mother superior and was unable to convince theologians of the validity of her visions.
Portuguese beatified people
This was the first of many ecstasies. Alexandrina's condition made it increasingly difficult for her to write, so all her correspondence, many of her thoughts, and the messages she received from Jesus and Our Lady were dictated to Deolinda, who wrote them down. In this way, thousands of pages of writings were accrued over Alexandrina's lifetime.
As a child, she visited Alexandrina whenever she could and their close friendship continued into adulthood. Apart from the autobiography she dictated to me, I know that she wrote other things: thoughts in notebooks, which are archived, and many letters, which are also archived. When Alexandrina came to hear of this, she told Deolinda of her great desire, secretly harboured for a long time, that Mass might be celebrated in her room, and she requested Deolinda to ask Fr Pinho if this would be possible. Fr Pinho eventually met Alexandrina and realised he was in the presence of a genuine mystic, and he became spiritual director to both Alexandrina and Deolinda.
Alexandrina's great desire was eventually realised when Fr Pinho offered Mass in her room for the first time on 20 th November She was overwhelmed with joy and gratitude, and later said Soon after this Mass Jesus appeared to Alexandrina, and this was recorded in her diary. She maintained that this vision had affected her so profoundly that it was always in some way present to her for many years to come I could see deep, open wounds in his hands, his feet and his side. The Blood streamed from these wounds, and from the breast it came with such force that, after having drenched the garment around his waist, it flooded onto the floor.
Jesus drew near to the edge of my bed. With great love I was able to kiss the wounds in his hands and I longed to kiss those in his feet. But due to my paralysis, I was unable to do so. Though I said nothing of this desire to Jesus, he knew what was in my mind and with his hands he held up one foot and then the other and offered them to me to kiss Enraptured, I contemplated the wound in his side and the Blood that was gushing from it until, filled with compassion, I threw myself into his arms and cried out, "O my Jesus, how much you have suffered for me!
Alexandrina didn't tell Fr Pinho straight away about the mystical experiences that she was undergoing, but her reticence with him caused her concern. She believed that if she revealed these experiences, he would stop being her spiritual director. You have not chosen him; it was I who sent him to you. Around this time a problem occurred which caused Alexandrina further suffering. This new trial came about as a result of the generosity of Alexandrina's mother, Maria Ana, who had given away much to help her poorer neighbours and had also mortgaged the house to raise money to help one of her brothers.
The brother was unable to repay her, and there was a real possibility that the family could lose their home.
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Initially, a local woman took pity and helped the family to meet the mortgage repayments so they would not be made homeless, but this still left them with very little money for anything else. Eventually, through Fr Pinho, a benefactress from Lisbon, a Senhora Fernando Santos, generously donated a sum of money that ensured they would never have to sell the house or live in such poverty again. On 6 th September , when she was thirty years old, Jesus gave Alexandrina a message during an ecstasy, which she didn't immediately understand, but which was the first sign that He was calling her to suffer His Passion in a mystical way.
Jesus said to her Give me your feet, because I want to nail them to my feet. Give me your head, because I want to crown it with thorns as they did to me. Give me your heart, because I want to pierce it with a lance as they pierced mine. Consecrate your body to me; offer yourself wholly to me Help me in the redemption of mankind. She consented to this request, and so began a period of even more intense suffering, which would make her previous sufferings seem light in comparison.
Alexandrina's mission to suffer for the conversion and salvation of sinners was clearly bearing fruit, because the enemy of humanity, Satan, began to intervene at this time, launching a series of attacks on her which were to continue for about ten years, and which even included physical assaults on her person. Alexandrina's satanic torments began in , when she started to see terrifying visions and hear blasphemous cries. Satan told her that her prayers and sufferings were useless, as God had abandoned her, so there was no chance of salvation for her.
He frequently urged her to commit suicide to end her suffering, and even offered to give her the means to take her own life.
THE PROMULGATION OF THE BLESSED
Satan continues this diabolical work to this day in the campaign for the legalisation of euthanasia. The pro-life groups that do such great work are continually alerting us to the fact that the pro-euthanasia lobby is gathering momentum with alarming speed. In view of her resistance to Satan's temptations to suicide, it seems particularly appropriate to ask Alexandrina to intercede for those who are tempted to end their sufferings in this way, and also for those who campaign to have this great evil legalised.
Perhaps Alexandrina could become a future patron saint for those campaigning against the legalisation of euthanasia? Through all these trials, Alexandrina placed her full trust in her spiritual director, knowing that Our Lord had especially sent him to guide and assist her. Satan obviously realised the future value that Alexandrina's writings would have for souls, as he seemed particularly anxious for her to stop writing and issued her with all sorts of threats if she continued.
On one occasion he said to her Already you are burning in Hell. Be converted, unhappy one! Be converted, miserable wretch! It is the affection I have for you that makes me speak in this way. I come now from your Christ who told me to take you, because he can no longer save you. As well as alerting us to the future value of Alexandrina's writings, Satan also indirectly revealed the effective role of sacramentals in helping to protect against evil. He deplored Alexandrina's use of sacramentals such as the Crucifix, the Rosary, the Brown Scapular, medals and holy water, and frequently ordered her to stop using these things, which shows us that when used with the correct dispositions, they are valuable aids in the struggle to overcome evil.
Sadly, the role of sacramentals has been downplayed by some in the Church since the Second Vatican Council, but Alexandrina's experiences simply confirm how unwise it is to reject such spiritual helps. In she wrote He told me that he had secrets to confide to me, but first I must take off those objects which he hates. Her refusal to remove her sacramentals enraged Satan, and he manifested his anger by ordering her to do things which were so terrible that she couldn't bring herself to repeat them to anyone.
He even threatened to destroy her, but Alexandrina remained firm. There is surely a lesson for us here. Later, Satan began his physical assaults on Alexandrina. Below are some examples of these incidents in excerpts from her writings In the beginning I concealed these attacks from my family with the exception of Deolinda. But as the violence of the evil one increased, I felt obliged to tell my mother and the girl we had at home. Those who saw my bruises after the falls were distressed, but they had no idea of the true cause.
As the days passed, things went from bad to worse. Deolinda was compelled to sleep on a mattress near my bed, and one night the devil hurled me against the wall so that I fell onto my sister's couch. This tribulation was repeated many times in an even more violent manner. My body became covered with purple bruises from the blows I received My one consolation was that the many people who came to assist me in these attacks were given such dramatic proof of the existence of Hell that they would surely not offend Our Lord any more. Although Alexandrina pleaded with Jesus to end these diabolic assaults, He explained that they were necessary in order to help save more souls.
I have endured so much to open Heaven to all mankind, but for many it was in vain. They say "I want to enjoy life, I have come into the world only for enjoyment. They have formed heresies against me. In order to save them, I select certain souls and lay the cross on their shoulders. Happy the soul who understands the value of suffering!
My cross is sweet if carried for love of me I chose you from your mother's womb. I watch over you in your great difficulties. It was I who chose them for you, that I might have a victim to offer me much reparation. Lean on my Sacred Heart and find therein strength to suffer everything. As in all things, Alexandrina humbly accepted this particular trial, even though it distressed her greatly. Around Alexandrina received a series of messages from Jesus, warning that a second world war would take place as a punishment for the sins of humanity, and that this could only be averted by the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Jesus urged Alexandrina, through her spiritual director, to petition the Holy Father to perform this consecration. Alexandrina was also requested to pray and offer her sufferings so that the consecration might be achieved. From then on, she offered everything for this intention. Fr Pinho was initially hesitant about carrying out this request, but Our Lord's insistence, relayed through Alexandrina and accompanied by her pleas, finally convinced him to act.
In and again in the Holy See sent a prominent theologian to Balasar, Fr Paul Durao, to investigate the claims being made by Alexandrina and her spiritual director. In , Fr Pinho had providentially been assigned to preach the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius to all the bishops of Portugal who were gathered together in Fatima. Alexandrina prayed and offered many sufferings that the bishops would ask the Holy Father for the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Her prayers and sacrifices, and Fr Pinho's powers of persuasion had the desired effect, as the bishops made the following petition to the Holy Father Alexandrina was overjoyed to hear of the bishops' petition, but there was still a heavy price to be paid for the consecration, and she was the one who had been divinely chosen to pay it. Our Lord made this clear when He said to her War was soon to break out in Europe and Jesus lamented this fact to Alexandrina, but told her that he had no choice but to punish humanity in this way, because of the innumerable and terrible sins being committed throughout the world.
Alexandrina once again offered herself as a victim of atonement for the sins of humanity. Jesus told Alexandrina that he would be the Pope who would perform the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. So now the stage was set. Jesus had made his desire for the consecration known, and the Holy Father had been made aware of this. The only thing needed to hasten the consecration was Alexandrina's suffering of the Passion.
After having consented to undergo Christ's Passion to help bring about the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Alexandrina received a series of alarming revelations from Jesus, in which she saw the perilous state of souls and the enormity of sin in the world. She was also shown horrific visions of World War II.
Jesus said to Alexandrina Unhappy ones if they are not converted! Poor world, whatever will become of it! Penitence, penitence throughout the world! Oh world, acknowledge your crimes or you will be destroyed! Woe to the world! Divine Justice cannot support it any more. I want to be crushed by you! I am your victim. I wish to be the lightning conductor of your wrath. The day before Alexandrina's mystical suffering of the Passion was to start, the tension in her home was palpable as no one knew what to expect. She wrote of her anxieties He confirmed that I would begin on the following day and that I would repeat these sufferings every Friday immediately after midday, until three o'clock in the afternoon.
I did not say no to the Lord. I warned my spiritual director of everything and waited anxiously for the morrow because neither of us could imagine what was going to happen. During the night of October, my agony of soul was intense, but the suffering of my body was even greater. I began to lose blood and felt fearful pains. And it was in this suffering that I entered into my first crucifixion. That horror I felt deep inside.
Oh, how unspeakable were my afflictions! On the 3 rd October , the Passion ecstasies started. Do you accept? All those present in the room were astounded by what happened next. This woman, who had lain in her bed completely paralysed for over 14 years, suddenly got up and was able to move around the room. In this way, the Passion of Christ was re-enacted through her. A local woman, present at one of the Passion ecstasies, wrote the following account I was present at that agony, but I do not know how to describe it. She suffered from the Garden to the Cross. Oh how everything was reproduced in that frail body of Alexandrina!
When Jesus told her that the hour was drawing near that everything was prepared for her via dolorosa, step by step, as far as Calvary, she replied very courageously, "Yes Jesus, for you and to save sinners, I will do everything. The falls under the cross were so visible that they left no room for any doubt In my opinion, her agony intensified when she presented her little white hands and then her feet to be nailed.
What sadness flooded our souls! There followed the agony on the cross with her sad and penetrating groans. And her gaze! It was indescribable! She sighed repeatedly and in the end, closed her hollow eyes in the violet sockets, bent her head and died. What a faithful replication of the death of Jesus! Alexandrina's falls during the Passion ecstasies often caused quite severe bruising on her body, but these were the only signs of what had taken place, as for reasons of humility, she had begged Jesus not to give her the stigmata or any other visible sign of the Passion.
Alexandrina underwent these ecstasies each Friday from midday to 3pm around times. During them she did not see or hear anything around her, and even when vigorous efforts were made to disturb her she did not react in any way. She did, however, respond to verbal commands from Fr Pinho, her spiritual director, and miraculously, even responded to mental commands made by him. Prior to undergoing the Passion each week, Alexandrina suffered a mounting sense of terrifying fear as the hour for the ecstasy drew nearer.
Alexandrina's physician, Dr Azevedo, tended her from until her death in He became a close friend and was present at many of the Passion ecstasies, and wrote down much of what occurred during them. Other doctors were sent by the Church authorities to determine the cause of this phenomenon, but none who came were able to explain these mysterious events.
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An interesting phenomenon occurred during the Passion ecstasies which is worth mentioning. At other times during the ecstasies she could be lifted with the greatest of ease, as she did not weigh very much. Fr Pinho and the family had felt it best not to tell too many people about the Passion ecstasies, and for some years only a few outside the family were aware they were taking place, until a priest who had been present at one of the ecstasies had an article published about them in a widely read journal.
The inevitable surge of interest in Alexandrina caused her great suffering. She had wished to remain hidden, but now thousands descended on the small home, each wishing to see this extraordinary woman and ask her prayers for their various intentions. In Holy Week of , Alexandrina's pain greatly increased and once again she appeared to be on the verge of death.
On the evening of Maundy Thursday, she felt slightly better, and noted that she wasn't experiencing her customary mounting fear of the Friday Passion ecstasy. She didn't know the reason for this, but felt sure that she wouldn't undergo the Passion the next day. The reason was made known to her the following morning. Although Alexandrina was overwhelmed with joy that the consecration had been done, her mission of suffering was not yet over. Jesus gave Alexandrina the following message to prepare her for the new phase of her mission Your food will be my Flesh; your blood will be my Divine Blood, your life will be my Life.
You receive it from me when I unite my Heart to your heart. Do not fear, my daughter. You will not be crucified any more as in the past And now a new trial awaits you, which will be the most painful of all. But in the end I will carry you to Heaven and the Holy Mother will accompany you. On Good Friday Alexandrina started the total fast which continued for thirteen years until her death. During all this time she took no food or drink whatsoever, but received Holy Communion with great devotion each day.
This phenomenon is not unique, as a few saints have received this special calling from God, but such occurrences are extremely rare in the life of the Church. People came in increasing numbers to visit Alexandrina, which added greatly to her sufferings, but she always maintained a cheerful disposition and received everyone most courteously. It is enough that only you know of my endurance.
Some disbelieved that she lived on the Holy Eucharist alone, and rumours were circulated that she was fraudulent, which caused her and her family further suffering. A medical examination of Alexandrina took place, which she accepted in a spirit of obedience and resignation. I feel full. I do not need it. However, I have a longing for food.
She agreed to the proposal on three conditions; that she would be able to receive the Holy Eucharist each day, that Deolinda could accompany her, and that she be there only for observational purposes and not have to undergo any more medical examinations. These conditions were agreed and Alexandrina went to the hospital in Porto by ambulance, offering up all the sufferings that this journey would inevitably bring. She said I looked only into his Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and implored them to give me courage and strength to bear this new affliction. As they levered my stretcher downstairs I murmured to my weeping family, 'Courage!
All for Jesus and for souls! There was such a tightening of my heart that I felt it would be impossible to keep back the tears. After a very difficult journey Alexandrina arrived at the hospital on 10 th June and was put under the strictest supervision.
Alexandrina of Balazar
Two people kept her under intense scrutiny around the clock, all the time she was in hospital. Dr Araujo visited Alexandrina several times each day and interrogated her, and she underwent many other trials and indignities during her stay in hospital.
Alexandrina's own physician, Dr Azevedo, visited her on occasions, and his support and company afforded her some relief. After thirty days of being constantly monitored, another physician, disbelieving the genuineness of Alexandrina's fast, insisted that she remain for a further ten days. On 19 th July , the day before she left hospital, all the children of the hospital gathered around Alexandrina's bed and she prayed with them.
It stated And we also testify that the bedridden woman, from 10 June to 20 July remained in the sector for infantile paralysis at the Hospital of Foce del Duro, under the direction of Dr Araujo and under day and night surveillance by impartial persons desirous of discovering the truth of her fast. Her abstinence from solids and liquids was absolute during all that time. Alexandrina returned home to yet another trial. It appeared that her detractors had been busy again, and as a result of their interference, Fr Pinho had been ordered to stop being her spiritual director and was sent to Brazil where he remained until his death in Sister Lucia wrote a note of comfort to Alexandrina on a holy picture, assuring her of prayers that she might obtain a new spiritual director.
Alexandrina's physical condition greatly worsened at this time, and again she received the last sacraments. As in the case of the man who killed St Maria Goretti, Alexandrina's assailant also repented of his sin, and joined the crowd of people waiting to visit her. Shortly after meeting her he became her spiritual director and encouraged Alexandrina to continue to dictate her diary.
Thoroughly imbued with the Salesian charism of service to youth, he asked if she would offer some of her sufferings and prayers for the salvation of youth. She consented and on 26 th February became a Salesian Cooperator, offering her sufferings and prayers in union with Salesians all over the world, for the salvation of all, but especially for youth.
Fr Pasquale was also a close friend of Sister Lucia of Fatima. An incredibly beautiful fragrance emanated from her that was even noticed in other parts of the village. Alexandrina was unaware of this, but Jesus told her that it was the perfume of her virtue. Thousands of people continued to visit Alexandrina on a daily basis, and she constantly exhorted them to live the message of Fatima, crying out Pray the Rosary devoutly every day.
Practise the First Saturday devotion. Alexandrina pleaded with people to practise the First Saturday devotion and to consecrate themselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary through the Brown Scapular for very good reason, as Our Lady Herself has promised to assist with the eternal salvation of those who practise these devotions. I promise to assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary, and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.
The Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, was given by Our Lady in the 13 th century to St Simon Stock of the Carmelite Order at Aylesford in Kent, with the promise that those who die wearing it shall not suffer eternal damnation, and it has been worn ever since by millions as a sign of consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and a pledge of Her Motherly protection.
Countless saints have recommended its use, and it has consistently received Papal approbation, including that of Pope John Paul II, who said in a message of 25 th March to the Carmelite family on the th anniversary of the Bestowal of the Brown Scapular:. I too have worn the Scapular of Carmel over my heart for a long time! Formerly, only Carmelite priests could enrol people in the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, but now the Holy See has extended the faculty to all priests, so that as many as possible may reap the benefits of this great devotion.
In Fr Pasquale was sent by his superiors to do other work, which meant that Alexandrina had to rely on other priests to bring her daily Holy Communion. She recorded in her diary that on occasions when no priests were available, Jesus Himself used to bring her Holy Communion. You, you, you!