Eyes of the Heart Studio

A Living Sacrifice

Drawing of Bl. Alexandrina de la Costa, a victim soul, smiling a wide smile.

Medium: Charcoal and Graphite

“You will very rarely receive consolation…I want that while your heart is filled with suffering, on your lips there is a smile.”

~Jesus to Bl. Alexandrina

I first stumbled upon Bl. Alexandrina years ago, while searching online for images of Marthe Robin. Captivated by the joy of Alexandrina’s smile, I went on to read her biography. Little did I suspect that her smile was born wholly of the will: an unflinching decision to love amidst the greatest agony. 

Alexandrina was a Portuguese victim soul. At the age of twelve she nearly died of an infection – her first omen of the degree of suffering God desired of her. Two years later, three men entered her home, seeking to sexually violate her. Rather than compromise her purity, Alexandrina jumped from a window, falling four meters to the ground. Her injuries were many and irreversible, leaving her pained and completely paralyzed by the age of 19. 

At first Alexandrina besought Our Lady for a miraculous healing, promising to become a missionary. Little by little, Our Lady gave Alexandrina to understand that her mission was to save souls not abroad, but upon her bed as the Lord’s “victim”. Alexandrina’s selfless abandonment and conformity to God’s Will gave way to a divine thirst for suffering.

Alexandrina compared her imprisonment in her room to the Lord’s imprisonment of love for us in the Tabernacle. For four years, she mystically relived the Passion of Jesus for three hours every Friday, in excruciating physical and spiritual pain. Angered by the power of her suffering, the devil violently injured her body and tormented her spirit with temptations against the faith. Then from 1942 until her death, Alexandrina was able to receive no nourishment save for the Holy Eucharist, the sole support of her physical and supernatural life. Throughout her years of anguish, misunderstanding and incredulity from others – including priests – added to her crucifixion. Her life became an unceasing prayer of reparation for sinners. She could truly say with St. Paul, “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church” (Colossians 1:24).

Prayer

Bl. Alexandrina, victim for sinners, please teach us the truth that in a fallen world, real love is crucified love. Help us to provide for the salvation of others by embracing the crosses of this life in a spirit of joyful sacrifice. Obtain for us the grace to bear our sufferings with a smile on our lips, and true surrender to the divine Will in our hearts. Intercede for us, that like you, we might hate sin and love sinners. Amen.