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Author Topic: Could a Roman Catholic explain this to me, please?  (Read 2713 times) Average Rating: 0
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Anastasios
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« on: February 19, 2005, 02:58:30 PM »

Hello everyone!

I received this envelope in the mail this week (I have edited the image to erase my personal info).  I highlighted in purple the area about the woman suffering Christ's passion 182 times.  I am not clear on certain aspects of Roman Catholic spirituality (when I was a practising Catholic I was Byzantine-Rite Catholic) and so I have a question: if Christ only had to suffer the Passion once, why did this woman suffer it 182 times?

Thanks for your answers.

In Christ,

Anastasios
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« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2005, 03:34:58 PM »

More info on Blessed Alexandrina Maria Da Costa:

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Blessed Alexandrina Maria da Costa

The Victim Soul of Fatima will be declared Blessed on April 25, 2004

There are many stories of Fatima and for everything to be told would be like an Encyclopaedia.  One of these stories will be better known on April 25, 2004 when Pope John Paul II declares Alexandrina blessed.  If you do not know her story, you can get a great book from Tan Book and Publishers called "Alexandrina, The Agony and The Glory" by Francis Johnson.   

Some of the pilgrimages which go to Fatima visit the town of Balasar north of Fatima.  It became famous in 1832 when the earth changed to form the appearance of a large cross which you can still see today inside a chapel which has been built over it.  Almost exactly 100 years later in the same town, Alexandrina Maria da Costa started suffering the passion of Jesus in answer to the request of Our Lady of Fatima.  She ended her life living on the Eucharist alone for the last thirteen years. 

Alexandrina was born in April 1904.  In 1918, the year after the apparitions of Fatima, Alexandrina and her sister Deolinda and another girl were home when three men knocked at the door, one of whom had previously tried to molest Alexandrina.  They broke into the house.  Alexandrina (to preserve her chastity) jumped from an upstairs window.  The men fled but Alexandrina’s spine had been irreparably injured and she had to remain in bed for the rest of her life.  The slightest movement caused her intense pain.  She began to grow closer and closer to the Lord and realised that she was suffering in a special way for the salvation of souls.  She received Holy Communion every day and her thoughts frequently turned to Jesus in the tabernacle. 

She went into her first ecstasy in 1931 when she heard Jesus say to her, “Love, suffer and make reparation.”  She saw her vocation to be that of a victim soul, to make reparation for all of us.  Under the order of her spiritual director she was dictating her life’s story to her sister but many times the devil threatened her not to write any more.  In 1936 Our Lord asked her to spread the message of Fatima and to urge the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart and she offered herself as a victim soul for this.

In one of her ecstasies Jesus said to her,

“Keep me company in the Blessed Sacrament.  I remain in the tabernacle night and day, waiting to give my love and grace to all who would visit me.  But so few come.  I am so abandoned, so lonely, so offendedGǪ. ManyGǪdo not believe in my existence; they do not believe that I live in the tabernacle.  They curse me.  Others believe, but do not love me and do not visit me; they live as if I were not thereGǪ You have chosen to love me in the tabernacles where you can contemplate me, not with the eyes of the body, but those of the soul.  I am truly present there as in Heaven, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.”

From October 1938 Alexandrina began to suffer the passion of Jesus every Friday.  She suffered the passion of Jesus 180 times.  Until 1942 she was suffering in silence without fame but after a report appeared in a newspaper from then on she was besieged by pilgrims asking for prayer.  During the Holy Week the same year Jesus said to her,

“You will not take food again on earth.  Your food will be my Flesh; your drink will be my Divine Blood GǪ”

So on Good Friday 1942 she began an absolute fast which lasted for the more than thirteen years until her death.  The only nourishment which her body filled with pain received was Jesus in Holy Communion every morning.  News of her fast spread and the crowds became even bigger.  Some people had doubts and suspicions about her fast and accused her, her sister and mother of fraud.  Therefore she agreed to medical observation.  The doctor asked her, “Why do you not eat?”  She replied, “I do not eat because I cannot.  I feel full.  I do not need it.  However, I have a longing for food.”  It was decided that she should be admitted to a nearby hospital for a thirty day observation of her fast.  While she was in the hospital some tried to persuade her to take food.  The doctor in charge of the examination was nasty to her and at the end of the thirty days said the nurses watching her must have been deceived and decided she was to remain there for a further ten days.  They even showed her tasty food to entice her to eat.  When the test was finally over the doctor said to her he would visit her at home not as a doctor-spy but as a friend who esteems her.  Part of the medical report reads as follows:

“Her abstinence from solids and liquids was absolute during all that time.  We testify also that she retained her weight, and her temperature, breathing, blood pressure, pulse and blood were normal while her mental faculties were constant and lucid and she had not, during these forty days, any natural necessitiesGǪThe laws of physiology and biochemistry cannot account for the survival of this sick womanGǪ”

While medical science could not explain, the explanation was simple.  Jesus had said to Alexandrina,

“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.”

She died on 13th October 1955, having received nourishment only from Holy Communion for more than thirteen years.  Some of the pilgrimages to Fatima visit her town Balasar and you can visit her house, see her room and visit the local Church where she is buried to the left of the altar.

The above was taken from: http://www.unitypublishing.com/Newsletter/Alexandrina.htm

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« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2005, 03:37:30 PM »

Hello everyone!

I received this envelope in the mail this week (I have edited the image to erase my personal info). I highlighted in purple the area about the woman suffering Christ's passion 182 times. I am not clear on certain aspects of Roman Catholic spirituality (when I was a practising Catholic I was Byzantine-Rite Catholic) and so I have a question: if Christ only had to suffer the Passion once, why did this woman suffer it 182 times?

Dustin,

You've got me. I had never heard of this individual and had to search to find out about her. She died in 1955 and was beatified last year. Here are links to a brief bio and a more detailed, official vatican bio, which explains (sorta) the 182 experiences of the Passion.

If I may ask, having never received any such mailing, what was it's purpose and what were the enclosed free gifts?

Many years,

Neil
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« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2005, 03:52:05 PM »

Neil,

The 3 gifts were if you subscribe to the magazine Inside the Vatican for 1, 2, or 3 years Smiley  Upon opening this envelope and seeing it was an ad for a subscription to a magazine, I thought this was all the more strange!

Anastasios
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« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2005, 03:59:39 PM »

A friend of mine who prefers not to post here suggested to me via email that perhaps just as the sacrifice of the Liturgy accomplishes a representation of the Passion, so in this woman, she was experiencing a parallel representation that would in no way outdo/redo/replicate the unique act that Christ accomplished. Then I got thinking, maybe since Christ was sinless and perfect, it only took one time for him to rescue the world whereas this woman, sharing in his passion as we all do when we "take up our cross" would have to experience more of such instances just to "share" in this experience as she is imperfect like us.

Anastasios
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« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2005, 05:01:47 PM »

The 3 gifts were if you subscribe to the magazine Inside the Vatican for 1, 2, or 3 years Smiley Upon opening this envelope and seeing it was an ad for a subscription to a magazine, I thought this was all the more strange!

I guess that not having been a Latin Catholic for almost 4 decades has insulated me from some of the best in Catholic publications - I've never hit that mailing list or even heard of the magazine, but who could resist a publication which can claim that

Quote
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« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2005, 06:16:22 PM »

I didn't know she was beatified.  Interesting. 
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« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2005, 12:26:02 AM »

Have any of the Western saints that have had the stigmata markings reported suffering the Passion in the same way?

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« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2005, 01:20:39 AM »

 September 23 - St. Pio of Pietreclina(Padre Pio) also had "stigmata" markings, though I would need my book on him but its in Las Vegas with my brother.

You probably could google stigmata, padre pio and get some hits.

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« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2005, 06:13:47 PM »

I never understood the concept of victim souls. Does Orthodoxy have anything similar to this?
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« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2005, 10:42:48 AM »


I never understood the concept of victim souls.



Well, the concept of "victim soul” starts with the Roman Catholic view of suffering.

That, in turn, begins with the Gospel. Everyone shares in the Cross of Christ (to one extent or another) as part of the process that leads to sharing in the Resurrection of Christ. This is basic to Christianity, as the New Testament explains. See, especially, the words of St. Paul, St. Peter and Christ Himself about sharing in sufferings and persecutions for the sake of the Gospel.

Next, the Roman Catholic understanding of suffering encourages people to make an offering of their suffering to God. St. Paul wrote about offering his own sufferings to Christ by His grace and for the good of souls. "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 [ . . . ] " St. Paul's Letter to the Colossians 1:24.  This is not seen as substituting Christ's passion but rather participating in His one and only suffering and sacrifice for our sins. In short, we are to ask the Holy Spirit to divinize ourselves and our days by making them an offering unto Christ, and offering our suffering as a gift to God is an application of that principle. That is why you can hear Catholics saying "offer it up" when faced with an annoyance or with suffering. They are offering their suffering to Christ, to be included in His suffering and resurrection and for the good of souls. In Christ, all suffering can be redemptive.

Now, some people in this life suffer egregiously. It seems that the purpose of their lives is to suffer. For example, the woman you mentioned (Bl. Alexandrina Maria da Costa) is one such person. She broke her spine when she jumped from a window in order to escape a rapist. As a result, she ended up crippled and in pain for the rest of her life. She didn't want that. Indeed, she prayed mightily for a cure or at least some relief. She got neither. So (and this is what begins to make her a saint), she chose to not become bitter or depressed. Instead, she chose to accept this as, somehow, the will of God for her. And, as part of that, she offered her suffering to Christ for the good of souls.

That is a victim soul. A victim soul is a soul who, in this life, suffers egregiously and who offers that suffering to Christ in union with His own suffering and resurrection for the good of souls. Again, this isn't trying to substitute or add to His death and resurrection. This is asking Christ to make one's own suffering to be worth something, to be redemptive, by the power of Christ's suffering and resurrection.

In short, being a victim soul is a kind of martyrdom. It is suffering for the sake of the Name of Jesus Christ, by the power of His strength and suffering and resurrection.

--John


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« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2005, 12:17:14 PM »

I received this envelope in the mail this week...

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« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2005, 12:24:19 PM »



Koo-Koo

I actually used to subscribe to the publication five years ago and it was reputable then. Guess they need to appeal to this kind of stuff to boost falling revenue.

Anastasios
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« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2005, 09:05:59 PM »

Johng,

     I've never had a very clear understanding of the idea of "victim souls", but your explanation helped a ton and made a lot of sense.  Thanks!
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« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2005, 11:57:32 AM »

Is there any record of an Orthodox saint manifesting the stigmata since the schism? Conversely, do we know of any Roman saints who manifested the Divine Light or other outward signs that we might normally associate with Orthodox theosis? There might be some crossover of these signs, but does anyone have any thoughts as to why the Roman saints tend to show signs of suffering and the Cross, and their Orthodox counterparts tend to manifest signs of the resurrection and glorification, or is this a generalization?

Eremitike
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« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2005, 04:41:46 PM »

I beleive this is pure nonsense :-";"xx
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« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2005, 05:52:49 PM »

St. Pio from what I remembered suffered greatly  during Holy Week.  The intensity would grow until until Good Friday. 
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« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2005, 07:11:54 PM »

The blessed Padre had many enemies within the Church, people who were envious & jealous of his popularity with the common people, especially when confession's were heard by him, very long lines.

james

ps - I should have my book about him by the middle of next week.
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