Alexandrina and the Little Flower

Blessed Alexandrina considered St. Therese, the Little Flower, her “spiritual sister” and had particular devotion to her. She was confined to bed, incidentally, in the year Therese of Lisieux was canonized and she appeared to her, sometimes; indeed, twice on the day in which she relived the Passion for the first time.  Alexandrina’s feast day, 13th October, is very next to that of the Little Therese, 3rd October...

Let us look at this fragment of Alexandrina’s colloquy of 3rd October 1947:


"Holy Therese came, dressed in light, with a most beautiful diadem.  How she was so pretty and kind!  She hugged me, she kissed me often and in a prolonged hug said me:

— My sister, wife of my Spouse and son of my Lord, have courage!

What a great glory awaits you in Heaven!  How brilliant a crown your martyrdom is forging! 

Suffer with joy, count on my protection here on earth and I shall come to meet you as you pass into eternity.

— Holy Therese, my beloved Little Flower, I trust you, I count on your protection, love Jesus for me, and our dearest Mother and the Most Holy Trinity. 

Present to Them all my petitions and obtain for all that are dear to me, and all my family, the blessings and favors of Heaven. 

Remember all those who recommend themselves to me, remember the entire world.  With the promise that she would do this, and forget nothing, she disappeared".


The text is enlightening: St. Therese starts by calling her "sister" and only later adds the munificent promise: “I shall come to meet you as you pass into eternity."

It was on St. Therese’s feast day that Alexandrina relived the Passion for the first time.  And the repetition of this agony, as we know well, was a determinating factor in the Consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, an act which would leave St. Therese enchanted.


In On the Calvary of Balasar, Fr. Pinho refers to that day like this:


"In the following day, 3rd October, St. Therese’s day, after Communion and the great mystical afflictions during which she had seen herself with Christ in Gethsemane, the invitation is repeated:

— Do you accept, my daughter, a calvary that I only give to my more beloved spouses? 

And, hearing again the generous yes, Jesus told her, as he had the day before, that at midday her passion from the Gethsemane to the Golgotha would start, and that it would finish at 3 in the afternoon.  Later He would be with Her in colloquy, seeking solace for His sufferings, until 6.

Indeed, everything happened as He said and the people present saw the drama of the Passion unfold in the most vivid way:  Gethsemane... the arrest...the courts...the flagellation... the way of Calvary... the Crucifixion...the Death."


It is good to remember here what Saint Teresa of Avila answered Jesus who told her that He treated His friends thus, immersing them in suffering: 

"Then it is no wonder that you have so few!" she replied. But this was the royal way of Redemption, that of his intense love for men.

In the Autobiography Alexandrina recounts her first experience of the Passion in this way:

"After midday, Our Lord came to make this invitation:

— Look, my daughter, Gethsemane is ready and Golgotha also, do you accept?

I felt that Our Lord followed me for some time in the way of the Calvary, later I felt myself alone, seeing Him higher up, life sized, nailed in the cross.  I covered all the way of the Calvary without losing sight of Him...I had to go on to be near Him.

Twice I have seen St. Therese. The first time, I saw her dressed as nun, between two sisters, at the door of the Carmel.  The second time I saw her surrounded by roses and wearing a celestial mantle."


If St. Therese was Alexandrina’s sister, how could she fail her at this moment of such great importance?

Surely two things St. Therese and Alexandrina had in common were singing of their love, and of Our Lady.

Let’s look now this poem of the Crucified of Balasar:




Only for love do I let myself be wounded
Only for love does my heart bleed,
Only for You, Jesus, is pain sweet,
Only in the cross with You, is my soul delighted.

Hard is my pain, knowing You were offended;
Only for love shall I always say: martyrdom is marvellous.
Here You have, my sweet Jesus, my breast for shelter.

My heart was ungrateful to my God and Lord;
Thus did I repay Him for His infinite love.
Now I only want to love Him and sooth His pain.

There is no need to say how much I love You, Jesus.
You see my heart and know how much it loves the cross.
Why is it suffering? It is only for You, my Jesus.


And to finish, two strophes of the poem Living on Love, of St. Therese:


On the evening of Love, speaking without parable,
Jesus said : "If anyone wishes to love me
All his life, let him keep my Word.
My Father and I will come to visit him.
And we will make his heart our dwelling.
Coming to him, we shall love him always.
We want him to remain, filled with peace,
In our Love !..."


Living on Love is holding You Yourself.
Uncreated Word, Word of my God,
Ah! Divine Jesus, you know I love you.
The Spirit of Love sets me aflame with his fire.
In loving you I attract the Father.
My weak heart holds Him forever.
O Trinity! You are Prisoner
Of my Love!...

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