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Alexandrina of Portugal and the Consecration

Rev. Fr. Fabrice Delestre

The consecration of the human race to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, accomplished by Pope Pius XII on October 31, 1942, was the result of the requests, not of Sr. Lucy, but of another Portuguese woman, Alexandra da Costa, known by the name of Alexandrina of Portugal, who was born in Balasar, a village situated between the cities of Porto and Braga, on March 30, 1904, a Good Friday. At the age of 14, in order to defend herself against the perverse intentions of three men who had entered the house where she was in the company of two other girls, she jumped out of a window 12 feet high, and as a result of the fall suffered damage to her spinal column that immobilized her in a painful martyrdom that lasted until her death on October 13, 1955. It was to this victim that our Lord gave the order to obtain from the Pope the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The first request dates from July 31, 1935, and Alexandrina, who was already a voluntary victim of the Eucharist, offered herself as well as "victim for the consecration of the world to our little Mother in Heaven." Our Lord having urged her to obtain this consecration for more than a year, finally her spiritual director, Fr. Mariano Pinho, S.J., transmitted this request for the consecration of the world on September 11, 1936, to His Holiness Pope Pius XI by the intermediary of his Secretary of State, Cardinal Pacelli. The Holy See then ordered the Apostolic Nunciature of Lisbon to initiate an inquiry into the matter. On July 11, 1937, the Provincial of the Jesuits wrote to the Nuncio, relating to him the conclusion of the investigation:

On the basis of the information gathered, it is not possible to doubt the sincerity or the virtue of the young woman. But since she does not show any outward sign that can prove the divine origin of the locutions that she says she hears, the possibility of illusion still remains.

It was Fr. Pinho who was charged with preaching the spiritual retreat to the Portuguese bishops at Fatima in June 1938; at the end of the retreat, the bishops wrote a collective letter to Pope Pius XI:

Most Holy Father, the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon and all the Archbishops and bishops of Portugal, met at the Sanctuary of Fatima at the feet of the blessed Virgin Mary to renew, in a spirit of thanksgiving, the consecration previously effected to Her Immaculate Heart, consecration which has saved Portugal, especially during the course of the last two years, from the peril of Communism, exult with joy for such a great and miraculous benefit accorded by the Mother of God. Humbly prostrate at the feet of His Holiness, they insistently beseech him that, as soon as His Holiness shall judge the moment opportune, the entire world also be consecrated to this most pure Heart, so that, at last, it might see itself delivered once and for all from such great perils that threaten it from every side, and that might reign the peace of Christ in the reign of Christ, by the mediation of the Mother of God.

A few months after this letter, our Lord sent to Alexandrina the external supernatural sign that was to authenticate in the eyes of the Holy See that the request came from God: the sign consisted of the young woman’s participation, physical and spiritual, in the holy passion of our Lord. This phenomenon occurred every Friday from October 3, 1938, and each time became more painful for the young woman: she, who was normally incapable of moving, arose then in ecstasy to relive the passion of Jesus. The phenomenon only ended on March 27, 1942, when, under the pontificate of Pope Pius XII, everything was ready for the greatly desired consecration. On May 22, 1942 Jesus said to Alexandrina: "The heart of the Pope, the heart of gold, is resolved to consecrate the world to the Heart of Mary." In fact, on October 31, 1942, on the occasion of the celebrations for the 25th anniversary of the apparitions at Fatima, Pope Pius XII, speaking in Portuguese over the radio, consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, a consecration which he renewed on December 8, 1942, at Rome during the course of a ceremony. Since during the same years Sr. Lucy had been petitioning the Vatican to obtain the consecration of Russia to Mary’s Immaculate Heart, this consecration of the world was attributed to the requests of the seer of Fatima. Nevertheless the two requests are distinct, as are their origins: the consecration of the world was due to the requests and sufferings of Alexandra da Costa; the request for the consecration of Russia is part of the Message of Fatima which has been transmitted by Sr. Lucy. (See the brochure by Fr. Humberto Maria Pasquale, S.D.B.: Mensageira de Jésus para a consagração do mundo ao Imaculado Coraçao de Maria, published with imprimatur in 1980 by Cavalier de l’Immaculée, Porto. As far as we know, this brochure has not been published in French [or English].)

In a letter dated February 28, 1943, to the Bishop of Gurza about the consecration of October 31, 1942, Sr. Lucy wrote:

The good God has already shown me that He is pleased by the act, even though incomplete, accomplished by the Holy Father and by several bishops. He promises, in return, to put an end to the war soon. The conversion of Russia is not for now.

On May 4, 1943, Sr. Lucy wrote in the same vein to Fr. Gonçalves: "Our Lord promises to end the war soon, in consideration for the act which His Holiness has deigned to accomplish. But as it was incomplete, the conversion of Russia will be later." (See Fatima: Intimate Joy, World Event, by Bro. Francis of Mary of the Angels, CRC, 2nd edition revised and corrected of December 1993, Ch. 11, p. 248. [See also English edition, Book III, p. 144.] )

One might reasonably think that it is because of the obstinate refusal of Pope Pius XI, between 1930 and 1935, to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, that our Lord asked Alexandrina to offer herself as a victim to obtain the consecration of the world to this same Immaculate Heart. This consecration in the divine plan seems to be a remedy of substitution, destined, not to avert the chastisements, sufferings, and persecutions announced to Sr. Lucy in 1929, but to mitigate or shorten them. In this perspective, Sr. Lucy’s expression "incomplete act" takes on all its meaning.

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This article is reprinted with permission from the June 2000 issue of The Angelus