|Born||7 December 1935|
Nisiporeşti, Boteşti, Neamț, Romania
|Died||24 August 1958 (aged 22)|
Hălăuceşti, Iaşi, Romania
|Venerated in||Roman Catholic Church|
|Beatified||22 September 2018, Nisiporeşti, Romania by Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu|
Blessed Veronica Antal (7 December 1935 - 24 August 1958) was a Romanian Roman Catholic professed member from the Secular Franciscan Order and member of the Militia Immaculatae. Antal was known for her strong faith and her love for the Mother of God; she had long desired to enter the religious life as a nun but settled on the Secular Franciscans after the communist regime suppressed convents and monasteries in Romania. Since her death she has been known as both "Saint Veronica" and has also been titled as the "Maria Goretti of Romania" due to the manner of her death similar to that of Goretti.
Her beatification cause opened in 2003 and she became titled as a Servant of God; Pope Francis confirmed that she died to preserve herself as a virgin against vice in 2018 which confirmed her beatification (as opposed to needing a miracle). The beatification was celebrated in Romania on 22 September 2018.
Veronica Antal was born on 7 December 1935 in Botești as the first of four children to George and Eva; she received baptism on 8 December in her local parish from Father Felix Rafaelli. Her parents named her in honor of her paternal aunt who died at a tender age. Her parents spent so much time at work in the fields that her grandmother Zarafina raised her and instructed her in the faith; it was in her childhood her devotion to the Blessed Virgin manifested.
Her schooling was spent in her hometown from age seven where she earned good grades before leaving to join her parents to work in the fields. But it was when she was sixteen that she began manifesting a desire to enter the convent as a Franciscan nun. Antal wanted also to help children. This never materialized because the communist regime had suppressed all convents and monasteries in Romania. Antal instead joined the Secular Franciscan Order (which her spiritual director Alois Donea directed her to) and then made a private vow to remain chaste. Antal walked five miles to the nearest church just so that she could receive the Eucharist. Antal also joined a choir aged sixteen and also joined the Militia Immaculatae that Saint Maximilian Kolbe founded. Not long before her death she began reading about Saint Maria Goretti and confided later to two friends that she wished to act much like Goretti.
On the evening of 24 August 1958 she returned from her local parish after having just received Confirmation from Monsignor Petru Pleșca when Pavel Mocanu began to harass her en route home. He made indecent proposals to her and then attacked her in a vain effort to rape her. But Antal fended him off to the point he stabbed her to death with a knife 42 times. Her parents grew alarmed that she had not returned home so searched for her. Labourers en route to work discovered her corpse in the middle of a field on 26 August and discovered one of her rosaries clasped in her hands. Her face was downwards covered in blood with a cross of corn pods on her back. Her funeral was celebrated on 27 August. One friend present with Antal during the Confirmation said that "Veronica seemed pale and downcast" and later had a meal with one friend before the friends left and Antal travelled home.
The beatification process opened under Pope John Paul II on 10 July 2003 after the Congregation for the Causes of Saints issued the official "nihil obstat" (nothing against) edict and titled Antal as a Servant of God; the diocesan process was held in Iași from 25 November 2003 until 12 November 2006. Documents collected during this time (including the 200 written testimonies that Fr. Eugen Blajut collected in 1994) were sealed in boxes and sent to Rome to the C.C.S. that December where the C.C.S. later validated the process on 24 May 2008.
Pope Francis confirmed her beatification on 26 January 2018 after determining that Antal died in order to protect her chaste state from the sin of rape; the official term was "in defensum castitatis". Her beatification was celebrated in Romania on 22 September 2018 with Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu presiding on the pope's behalf.
- "The Process of Canonization of the Servant of God Veronica Antal" (PDF). Order of Friars Minor Conventual Romania. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
- "Servant of God Veronica Antal". Santi e Beati. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
- "Two 20th-century martyrs move toward beatification". 27 January 2018. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
- Chuck Todaro (18 January 2004). "In Moldavia, Romania, an Ancient Faith Struggle With Modern Changes". National Catholic Register. Retrieved 27 January 2018.