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Slovakia’s newest martyr is example for young people, says cardinal

An artist's rendering shows Anna Kolesárová, a Slovakian teen who was shot in 1944 in front of her family for resisting rape by a drunken Soviet soldier CNS photo/courtesy Pastoral Centre of Anna Kolesarova)

Like St Maria Goretti, Slovakia’s newest martyr is a model for young people, Cardinal Angelo Becciu has said.

With her beatification, Blessed Anna Kolesárová, who was shot at the age of 16 in front of her family for resisting rape by a drunken Soviet soldier, is upheld as an example for all Catholics, especially the young, so that they may “rediscover the beauty of authentic love as well as the virtue of purity”, the prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes said.

The Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, released excerpts of the cardinal’s homily at the beatification Mass in Košice, Slovakia, on September 1.

People who become heroes and saints do not “improvise”, he said. Blessed Kolesárová was prepared thanks to her upbringing and solid spiritual life, “nourished by daily prayer and taking part in the sacraments”.

Blessed Kolesárová was born in 1928 near the present border between Slovakia and Ukraine. When the Red Army captured her village in 1944, a drunken soldier entered her house, where she had been hiding.

Hoping to appease the soldier, the father asked his daughter to cook something for man. When she resisted the soldier’s attempt to rape her and broke free, he shot her twice. Her father and neighbours were eyewitnesses.