The foundation of the Alexandrina Society
In the Blessed
Alexandrina Society’s bulletin nº 44, we can read:
people have asked about how the Alexandrina Society started and want to know
more about the founder (Francis Reynolds).
Francis was born
in Co. Cavan, Ireland, one of eight children. At his first Holly Communion,
which was an extremely important event in Francis’s life, he had strong thoughts
ob becoming a priest. Naturally, this made his Mother extremely happy as she was
a very saintly woman and to have a Priest in the family would be the culmination
of all her prayers. So, when a visiting Priest came to his school looking for
vocations, Francis was the first to enthusiastically raise his hand, but to his
shock and disappointment, he was simply passed by.
Some time after
this, a Nun appeared to him. He can’t remember either being worried or
frightened because the message she gave to him restored his confidence and
certainly raised his spirits. ‘Don’t be upset, God wants you for something else’
– a thousand years in Heaven is as a minute but it took forty years for Francis
to get his direction.
Around this time,
Francis got a very definite urge to attend daily mass. He had been preying
especially fir three people who were in need. One of these had been a patient in
psychiatric hospital foe thirty years and Francis asked that this patient be
restored to good health, if even only for one year. A short time after, she was
discharged and was able to enjoy her first ever holiday. A year later, she died.
The other two people who were in Francis’s prayers were suffering from cancer
and they are alive to this day.
One morning when
coming back from Mass, Francis found a few Religious leaflets and
publications in his hallway. One of them had an extraordinary effect on him.
When he picked it up, he felt a great Spiritual power coming from the picture
and he began to feel very holy. Francis felt oblivious to his surroundings. It
was a picture of a young woman called Alexandrina Maria da Costa. At this point
Francis had never even heard of her but he instantly knew she was his. This may
seem strange but it was how he felt at the time.
It was to take a
long time to find out who she was. Enquiries yield no results. Priest and Nuns
were consulted but nobody had heard of her. However, an address, in small print,
at the end of the leaflet gave Francis his first clue. ‘St. Joseph’s, Ballybay,
Co. Monaghan. He wrote to this address thinking it was a church and within a few
days, e got his answer.
Society was founded in May 1993 with their first Mass to inaugurate the
Growth and spread of the Society
letter of Mrs Jocie Mc Evoy explains the beginnings of the Society and its
growth and spread as follows:
«At the first
meeting we probably had about 30 people. Today possibly 1000 or more. Not all
very active but we have a marvellous ‘hard core’ – very loyal and never miss an
opportunity to make Alexandrina known, as Jesus asked.
We have members in
almost every part of Ireland. A good number in Britain, with a strong branch in
Scotland. We also have a few members in the USA, Australia, Portugal (yes!), and
have had enquiries from East Timor, Singapore, Kenya, and the Philippines and
have sent material and tapes out to these places.
For a few years I
correspond with a man in the Czech Republic who was writing a book on
Alexandrina but I haven’t heard from him for a long time.
Our bulletin which
is published 3 times annually keeps us up to date with what’s happening. Every
year we have an Alexandrina day at our Lady’s shrine, Knock, Co. Mayo, Ireland.
We get a good turnout for this which is always held on 1st Saturday
The purpose of the Society
A document of the
Society exposes its purpose in this way:
«1. To try make
known to as many as possible the wonderful spiritual life of Alexandrina.
2. To pray the
Rosary daily – praying for the conversion of sinners. Also to remember in our
prayers all members’ intentions.
3. To acknowledge
favours received through Alexandrina’s intercession.
4. To pray for
Formation of new branches
The same document
goes on appealing for the formation of new branches:
«As our membership
has increased considerably it has been suggested that we form branches in
various centres. Already we have had offers from Belfast, Derry, Enniskillen,
Limerick and Mayo – for which we are most grateful.
Bearing in kind
the purpose of the Society can you form an Alexandrina Society Prayer Group in
your area? It might be the most important thing you will ever do.»
Alexandrina da Costa
Society Founder – Francis Reynolds
Alexandrina, as an
unworthy sinner I ask you
To place me on a path of salvation,
To save my soul and help with your mission
Of saving other souls for God.
I implore you to
plead for me
As I beg the grace to be holy,
To be pure, to be kind and to do
Only what is pleasing to God.
Then God will
dwell in me and His blood
Will flow in my veins with my blood
And His Flesh will be with my flesh
And I will be with Jesus forever.
Oh, sweet and
gentle Alexandrina, God gave
You power equal to that of the all-powerful and
Appointed you protectress of mankind. I ask you
To intercede for me in my time of need and protect
Me spiritually, physically and mentally through this
Day/night through Jesus Christ Our Lord.