Saint John Bosco has inspired thousands of people, young and old, priests, brothers, sisters and lay people, to strive for holiness in their lives. The Church has recognised many of them as outstanding in holiness and deserving the titles of Saint, Blessed, Venerable or Servant of God.
Blessed Alexandrina da Costa 1904-1950
Alexandrina Maria da Costa was Salesian Cooperator and mystic who lived in tremendous pain for over thirty years, finding happiness in her suffering, and managing to care about the troubles of others despite her own situation.
When she was 14, she severely injured her spine jumping from a window to escape from an attempted rape, and by the age of 21, she was totally paralysed. After praying for a cure at first, she came to see her vocation as a 'victim soul', and received the grace to bear her suffering, offering it 'for the salvation of the young' and for peace in the world.
In his homily at her beatification in 2014, St John Paul II said: 'With the example of Blessed Alexandrina, expressed in the trilogy "suffer, love, make reparation", Christians are able to discover the stimulus and motivation to make "noble" all that is painful and sad in life through the greatest evidence of love: sacrificing one's life for the beloved. Her secret to holiness was love for Christ.'
Her memorial is celebrated on 13 October, the date of her death in 1955.
For more biographical information and downloadable resources, visit sdb.org