Anna Kolesarova Beatified in Kosice with 30,000 Believers in Attendance

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Anna Kolesarova's beatification ceremony. (Photo by TASR)

Slovakia has another blessed figure as of Saturday – Anna Kolesarova, a decree of whose martyrdom was approved by Pope Francis last month, TASR learnt on the same day.

The beatification ceremony of Anna Kolesarova took place at Lokomotiva football stadium in Kosice earlier in the day and was presided over on the Pope’s behalf by Cardinal Angelo Becciu, the new Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. He told the media that he’s glad that he started his service with this ceremony. “I feel that I should take our blessed Anna as my guardian. The ceremony was beautiful, I was touched by the large crowd of faithful people, as well as by the fact that the story was discovered by a group of young people,” he said.

Kosice Metropolitan Archbishop Bernard Bober said that the story of Anna Kolesarova from the village of Vysoka nad Uhom (Kosice region) was rather unknown before the fall of communism in 1989. “She was shot and killed as a 16-year-old by a Soviet soldier [in 1944] as she was attempting to preserve her chastity and dignity,” said Bober.

According to vice-postulator of Kolesarova’s cause Juraj Jurica, Saturday’s beautification is the result of a church and legal process that began in 2004 and lasted until 2011. “A 15-strong tribunal was formed in Kosice Archdiocese to examine whether Anna Kolesarova met the criteria to be beatified, he said, adding that 38 witnesses were heard as part of the process, which has produced a 650-page document.

According to the organisers, over 30,000 people attended Kolesarova’s beatification.