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Blessed Alessandrina da Costa


An impressive example from the life of Alexandrina da Costa , who was beatified on 25 April 2004, shows the transforming power and visible impact of a sick and forgotten girl.

In 1941, Alexandrina wrote to her spiritual director, Fr. Mariano Pinho, that Jesus had asked of her, “My daughter, a priest living in Lisbon is close to being lost forever; he offends me terribly. Call your spiritual director and ask his permission that I may have you suffer in a special way for this soul during the passion.”

Once Alexandrina had received permission from her spiritual director, she suffered greatly. She felt the severity of this priest’s errors, how he wanted to know nothing about God, and was close to self-damnation. She even heard the priest’s full name. Poor Alexandrina experienced the hellish state of this priest’s soul and prayed urgently,

“Not to hell, no!

I offer myself as a sacrifice for him,

as long as You want.”

Fr. Pinho wanted to find out from the cardinal of Lisbon if, at that time, one of the priests of his diocese was of particular concern. The cardinal openly confirmed that he was, in fact, very worried about one of his priests, and when he mentioned the name of the priest, it was the same as Jesus had made known to Alexandrina.

Some months later, Fr. Pinho’s friend, Fr. David Novais, recounted to him an unusual incident. Fr. David had just held a retreat in Fatima where among those present was a modest gentleman whose exemplary behaviour made him pleasantly attractive to all the participants. On the last night of the retreat, this man suddenly had a heart attack. He requested a priest to whom he confessed and received Holy Communion. Shortly thereafter, he died, fully reconciled with God. It turned out that this man dressed as a layperson was actually a priest—the very priest for whom Alexandrina had suffered so much.

Vocations Guide to Priesthood



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