Story: "Blessed Anna Kolesárová numbered among the virgin martyrs." Teenage girl beatified September 1 who resisted rape


“Before the eyes of her father, the soldier murdered her with his assault rifle at point blank range after she refused his advances and escaped from him as he tried to rape her. She was only 16.”

When the Church beatifies someone it authorizes their public veneration and acknowledges that they are now in heaven.


Good news.

Sadly this article is unable to provide us a simple biography og the new blessed.


Catholics, especially Catholic media, have to do better when discussing sexual violence especially in this context. I’m waiting for the someone who has survived rape to be beatified or canonized.


St. Teneu (name corrected, I had the wrong name at first) is a historic saint who survived both rape and her father then attempting to murder her and the child she conceived, who also became a saint (St. Kentigern, patron of Glasgow).



I think in this case, the girl is being venerated not so much because she resisted a rapist as that she resisted a hateful Communist enemy.


Just as it’s often forgotten that St Maria Goretti’s holiness was found in her forgiveness of her attacker, not just in her fighting him off and trying to defend herself from the murderous attack that resulted from his anger of her refusal to have sex with him outside of marriage.


The problem with St. Maria Goretti and several other saints who died in similar circumstances (killed when they resisted) is that they are often cited as the patron saints of rape victims. Nobody ever cites Maria Goretti as the patron saint of forgiveness.

It sends a message that if you submit in order to save yourself, or submit just because you’re so scared you don’t have it in you to fight back, or otherwise just don’t end up dead, you did not act in a “saintly” way. It sends a further message that if you somehow do get raped or horribly maimed, you are supposed to forgive your attacker and not feel anger or other natural emotions. I don’t mean to take away from Maria or the others who were very brave and heroic as well, but not everyone is going to react like that. If Maria had lived rather than died, she may have developed some other emotions over time and that would have been okay.

I am willing to bet that a whole lot of female martyrs were indeed raped before they were killed, or maybe even as part of killing them. It was likely just considered too indelicate to put in their hagiographies. People have done studies on how a lot of the torture of female “virgin martyrs” is highly sexualized. It’s hard for me to believe that those who would cut off women’s breasts for torture wouldn’t also just go ahead and commit rapes. There are probably all kinds of raped saints in heaven who we just don’t hear about. Men too I reckon.


A very inspiring story, thank you for posting.


Thank you for this.



Honoring someone for resisting rape seems weird to me. it’s not a sin to be raped, and so it’s not like a woman was defending her virtue or anything. Her virtue and spiritual purity is there untainted if she was raped.



She repaid the act of hate, which is rape, with an act of love and forgiveness.

In doing so, she imitated Christ who also did the same.

This is what saints are supposed to do, imitate Christ.


Who is sending or spreading the message that not resisting or choosing death over rape is “unsaintly”?

I don’t think it is the Church. Probably spread by people who are likely to have issues.


You misunderstood me.

The people who spread the idea that it is better for rape victims to resist and risk death than to give in and keep their lives are the ones who have issues. The ones who think that St. Maria Goretti was canonized because she would rather get killed than lose her virginity are the ones who have issues

I am not placing any blame on rape victims.


OK, sorry if I misunderstood. :icecream:

I’ll withdraw my post above.


No problem. :blush:

I understand this topic can be quite touchy.


People make mountains of molehills out of this.

Resisting rape is not a sin.

Not resisting due to fear or threats is not a sin.

Accounts of Yazidi women who were raped by isis members some say they prefer to be dead than to be raped. Other victims elsewhere say something.


Saints are usually patrons of something like a business or something not a virtue or spiritual help.


Huh? A “business”? Are you joking?

There are all kinds of patron saints of qualities like loyalty, courage etc. Go read the saint bios on Catholic Online if you don’t believe me.

St. Maria Goretti is actually listed on Wiki and elsewhere as a patron saint of forgiveness. It’s just that I rarely or never hear her referred to in that way.


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