RMG - Anna Kolesarova and Teresa Bracco, two Blesseds inspired by the holiness of Domenico Savio

11 September 2018

(ANS - Rome) - Anna Kolesarova was beatified on Saturday 1 September in Slovakia, in Košice, by Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, the new Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, representing the Holy Father. Teresa Bracco was beatified twenty years ago by John Paul II. In addition to the very young age in which they died, these two women have in common their devotion to Saint Dominic Savio, who inspired their lives.

Anna was born in the village of Vysoka nad Uhom, in eastern Slovakia, in a deeply religious family, who had her baptized the day after her birth. Then, at the age of ten, she received the Eucharist and subsequently confirmed her faith with Confirmation.

Her life proceeded quietly until the Russian army occupied her village. During a military raid on November 22nd, 1944, Anna and her parents hid themselves, but a soldier discovered them and started making advances to the young woman. She resisted, to defend her chastity. The soldier's reaction was the most terrible: he killed her in front of her family.

Because of the difficult situation, the relatives had to celebrate the funeral in secret and only after the fall of the regime came back to talk about this heroic girl. The young people then began to pray on her grave, where the motto of Dominic Savio is engraved: "Death, but not sins".

The same motto inspired the whole life of another young blessed, Teresa Bracco. Born in Santa Giulia, province of Savona, Italy, and raised in a deeply religious family, from an early age she showed a singular inclination to piety. Her spiritual life grew day by day. She was much struck by an image of Domenico Savio bearing his famous motto "Death, but not sins", so she placed it at the head of her bed and made it her life program.

Her life was upturned in August 1944, when the Nazi troops occupied her country. During the escape, she was captured by a soldier who tried to abuse her. She fought bravely to defend her chastity and this cost her her life, the soldier shooting her dead.

Anna and Teresa defended their own purity at the cost of their lives, keeping faith until the end of Domenico Savio's motto "Death, but not sins", which had inspired their whole existence.


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