Another modern virgin martyr soon to be beatified is ANNA KOLESAROVA, who was born in 1928 in the village of Vysoka nad Uhom, outside the city of Michalovce, in the eastern Slovak region of Zemplin, in what was then a part of the newly formed Czechoslovakia. Her family was described as a pious farming family that attended church regularly and lived out their faith in their daily lives.
When she was ten years old, her mother died, and it fell on Bl. Anna to look after the household, as well as her older brother Michal. Her life was described as modest and simple, going regularly to church.
During the autumn of 1944, the Second World War was approaching its final and bloodiest phase, the Eastern front was passing through the eastern Slovak district of Michalovce, which was then a part of Hungary. During this violent transition period, the inhabitants of Vysoká and the surrounding villages would hide in their cellars, waiting for the shelling and fighting to end.
On 22 November, the village was occupied by the Soviet Red Army troops. Jan Kolesár sheltered with his family and their neighbors in the cellar under the kitchen. During a tour of the house, a drunken Soviet soldier discovered the hideout and peered inside. At first, at her fathers insistence, Bl. Anna emerged from the hideout, walked up to the kitchen and served the soldier with food and water.
Due to the uncertainty of the war, she and the other women of the village wore black dresses in order not to attract unwanted attention to themselves, and to discourage improper behavior from the soldiers. Despite this however, the soldier later started to make sexual advances towards her. When she refused him, he ordered her, either to sleep with him or be killed. She, however, despite his threats to shoot her, again refused. She pulled herself out of his grip and ran back to the basement. The soldier pursued her, then allowed her to say goodbye to her father before he pointed his rifle at her and killed her on the spot.
Despite the massive fighting that was ongoing around the village, Bl. Anna was buried in the evening the next day, with the funeral conducted in secret, without a priest present. Catholic funeral rites were performed one week later by Father Anton Lukac on 29 November.
Father Lucac, who was the parish priest in the nearby village later himself investigated Bl. Anna’s death. He interviewed the villagers and obtained signed statements from five witnesses. He then recorded the incident into the parish chronicles of Pavlovce. Another native of the village, the Jesuit priest Fr. Michal Potocky, also gave testimony about the saint’s life and the circumstances surrounding her death. Despite this, after the war, the new socialist government of
banned mention of the incident, and strictly enforced a ban on any open
gatherings at the grave site. Czechoslovakia
The house where Bl. Anna is today used by a Catholic youth organization which was founded and dedicated to her memory. That organization; Domcek, is organizing in volunteer work, prayer, workshops, sports games and social events. Three times a year in February, April and August, at nearby Pavlovce, there is a large Catholic youth gathering, dedicated to Bl. Anna's legacy, which each year draws more and more young people.