Blessed Karolina and Anna, Martyrs for Chastity

Today, particularly in Poland, we recall the virgin-martyr, called the ‘Polish Maria Goretti’, Karolina Kózka, killed during the First World War, defending her chastity against a Russian soldier. Providential that she shares the same last name as another Polish saint, Stanislaus Kostka, of whom we wrote a few days ago. John Grondelski has a moving summary of her life, along with another young woman with a similar story, Anna Kolesárová, who met her end three decades after Karolina, during the Second World War, again defending her virginity, again against the aggression of a drunken Soviet soldier.

They are but two of countless women violated, not only during the mayhem of war, but throughout history, many of them not successful in defending their bodies against aggressive and demonic lust. But we may trust they did defend their souls, which no human power or violence can touch.

We will leave the final words to Pope John Paul II, from his beatification homily for Blessed Karolina:

This young daughter of the Church … who from this day shall be called ‘blessed,’ speaks by her life above all to the young, to boys and girls. She speaks of the great dignity of woman, of the dignity of the human person. Of the dignity of the body, which while truly in this world is subject to death — as her young body was subject to death — but the human body carries in itself the note of immortality, which man is to attain in the eternal and living God through Christ.

Amen to that. And may chastity reign.

Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat. +