28 March 2018
Laity

Beatification of Anna Kolesárová

Pope Francis has recognized that the 16-year-old Slovak girl was killed in 1944 “in defensum castitatis”

Anna Kolesárová will be beatified: Pope Francis officially recognized her martyrdom in defense of bodily chastity, thus paving the way for the beatification of the young Slovak from the diocese of Košice.

Born in 1928, Anna led a quiet existence in Vysoka nad Uhom, a small native village near the Ukrainian boarder, until the soldiers of the Red Army came and occupied it. She left the shelter where she was hiding with her family to prepare food for a soldier, but she repeatedly rejected the young man’s advances, preferring to die rather than give herself to him. She was only sixteen when, on 22 November 1944, she was shot to death while invoking Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.

Pope Francis confirmed that the young Catholic girl had died “in defensum castitatis,” to preserve her virginity, a trait that unites her to other young martyrs, including Saint Maria Goretti. The beatification ceremony will take place this year in the birthplace of the blessed Anna, but the date is still unknown.

The process of beatification began on 3 July 2004, after the Congregation for the Causes of Saints declared Anna Kolesárová Servant of God and gave the “nihil obstat” to the cause. The diocesan investigation of her life and assassination was opened in Košice in 2005 and ended on 14 February 2012.