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ANTAL, Veronica (1935-1958)

young layperson; martyr (uti fertur)

Veronica Antal, the child of a farming couple, was born on 07 December 1935 in Nisiporeşti, a commune of Boteşti (Neamţ Romania). She was baptized the day after, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, at the parish church of Hălăuceşti (Iaşi, Romania). Because her parents had to work all day in the fields, Veronica was put under the care of her grandmother Serafina. Guiding the child in her first awareness of the faith, Serafina instilled on her granddaughter a profound affection for Christ and the church. Veronica went to elementary school in her hometown. When she was old enough, she joined her parents in working in the fields.

    When she was between 16-17, Veronica expressed her desire to join religious life. However, this was not possible to do because the communist regime in Romania had already suppressed all convents in the country. She took it upon herself, then, to lead the life of a religious in her house. She joined the Secular Franciscans and professed a private vow of chastity. Veronica joined in the daily celebration of mass and did not fail to participate in the adoration of the eucharist. To do these, she had to walk eight kilometers from her house to the parish church of Hălăuceşti.

    During her brief life, Veronica did not do anything that was beyond the ordinary. Nonetheless, she lived in a heroic manner her Christian calling. She was very fond of children and often visited the sick in their homes. Veronica also bore the daily challenges in her life with great patience.

    On 24 August 1958, while returning home from church, Veronica was assaulted by a young man named Pavol Mocanu. Because she resisted his sexual advances, he stabbed her to death with 42 blows. When her body was recovered in the middle of a field, she was still clasping the rosary with which she regularly prayed during her long walk back to her family.

    From the time of her death, the people of Nisiporeşti and Hălăuceşti, as well as those from other villages, have spoken about her as a saint. For the last 45 years, several people have commemorated her death every 24 August. Tracing the last steps she took from the parish church of Hălăuceşti , they make a pilgrimage to the spot where she was murdered, climaxing it with the celebration of mass.

    In response to a petition from Petru Gherghel, bishop of Iaşi, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints issued on 10 July 2003 the rescript nihil obstat for the initiation of the beatification process. The following 25 November, Bp. Gherghel celebrated the formal opening of the diocesan inquiry in the parish church of Hălăuceşti.

[on-line publication date: November 2003]

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Last modified: 06/12/18