Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Monday 14 June |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Francisa de Paula de Jesus Isabel
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

Meet Anna Zelíková, a holy teenager who had an “apostleship of smiling”

ANNA MARIA ZELIKOVA

Courtesy of Anickazelikova.cz

Philip Kosloski - published on 12/10/17

She sought to spread the joy of Christ to all those around her.

Born on July 19, 1924, in what is now the Czech Republic, Anna Zelíková was a simple teenager who loved Jesus dearly. She learned of the example of St. Therese of Lisieux, who at the time was newly canonized in 1925. The saint’s “little way” of holiness fit Zelíková’s spirituality perfectly.

Zelíková understood the way of perfection mapped out by St. Therese and wrote in 1940, “true beauty is hidden in faithfulness in little things. I always desired to do great and heroic deeds of love, but when I saw that I was unable, I was grieved by it. Now I find great heroism precisely in little things, so that now I haven’t the slightest regret whether I can do something or not.”

One way that she practiced this was by her “apostleship of smiling.” She said, “I must smile to my last breath. Ah, all I can give God now are my heartbeats and my smile. Nothing is left to me except love and trust.”

Another way that she offered her life to God was through her suffering. In particular, when she learned about the killing of unborn children she was horrified. At that moment she wanted to be a sacrificial victim, suffering for the sake of these children who were killed in the womb.

Her prayers were answered and began to suffer from tuberculosis. She suffered from this disease for several years and made her offering even more profound by making a vow of virginity to God.

One of her greatest desires was to join a Carmelite community of nuns, but her illness prevented her from doing so. However, she was permitted to become a Third Order Carmelite instead.

The tuberculosis took its toll and the joyful teenage girl took her last breath on September 11, 1941, at 17 years old. Her last words were “I trust” and “Carmel.”

Her short and joyful life was an inspiration to many. In 1991 her cause for canonization was officially opened and she was granted the title of “Servant of God.”


CHIARA BADANO

Read more:
Meet Chiara Badano, an average teenager who loved to play tennis and listen to pop music

Tags:
Saints
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
SACRED HEART OF JESUS
Philip Kosloski
Miracle prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
2
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
3
HOMILY
Magnús Sannleikur
5-year-old boy interrupts homily and asks for prayers for his int...
4
RECONSTRUCTED CHRIST
Lucandrea Massaro
This 3D “carbon copy” of Jesus was created using the ...
5
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
6
Revista Misión
Interview: The husband of Chiara Corbella on his wife’s sac...
7
SACRED HEART
Philip Kosloski
5 Things to know about the Sacred Heart feast
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.