The feast day of Alexanrina Mariada Costa is celebrated on October 13. She is known for living on the Eucharist alone for three years. She is the patron saint of the bedridden and paralyzed.
Alexandrina was born on March 30, 1904. in Balasar, Portugal. She worked in the fields to earn money. She nearly died of an infection when she was twelve.
On Holy Saturday, at the age of 14, she and a friend were sewing when three men broke into her home threatening to rape them. In an attempt to escape she jumped out of a window and fell 4 meters. She had many injuries and the doctors predicted her paralysis would get worse. She was able to attend church until the age of 19 although she was quite hunched over. At the age of 21 she became totally paralyzed and bedridden.
Alexandrina prayed for a miraculous healing so that she could be a missionary. Eventually she realized that God wanted her to spend her time in prayer. She accepted her affliction as God’s will and offered herself as a “victim soul” for the conversion of sinners. She suffered from paralysis for over 30 years.
Describing her situation she stated the following:
“Our Lady has given me an even greater grace; first abandonment, then complete conformity to God’s will and finally the thirst for suffering.”
For 3 1/2 years Alexandrina experienced the mystical gift of feeling the pains of Christ on the Cross. Every Friday, for three hours she relived the “Passion of Jesus”. Her paralysis was overcome, but she suffered great pain. Alexandrina knew Jesus wanted her to suffer in joy so she was known for her smile.
For 13 years Alexandrina was nourished only by the Eucharist. Unable to keep anything down including water, she began a “fast” for Jesus. She offered her suffering for the salvation of souls. As news of her fast spread, pilgrims began to visit asking her for prayers. This tired her and increased her suffering but she promised to pray for everyone.
Because of the skepticism surrounding her fast, Alexandrina agreed to be admitted to a hospital where she would be examined. She was permitted the Eucharist daily. The disbelief of the doctors caused her great suffering, but after a month they certified that she had had nothing to eat or drink except the Eucharist. She kept a picture of St. Jacinta of Fatima by her bed.
In her prayers Jesus told her:
“You are living by the Eucharist alone because I want to prove to the world the power of the Eucharist and the power of my life in souls.”
St. Alexandrina died on October 13, 1955. She declared “I am happy because I am going to heaven.” She was beatified by Pope John Paul II.
On her tombstone, St. Alexandrina requested the following statement:
“Sinners, how much I want to tell you. Do not risk losing Jesus for all eternity for He is so good. Enough with sin. Love Jesus, love Him!”
October is the Month of the Most Holy Rosary