Bratislava, September 30 (TASR) – Slovakia has another blessed figure as of Saturday – deceased Slovak Salesian priest and martyr Titus Zeman, TASR learnt on the same day.
The beatification ceremony of Titus Zeman took place at the Holy Family Church in Bratislava earlier in the day and was presided over on the Pope’s behalf by Cardinal Angelo Amato, SDB, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
More than 500 priests took part in the ceremony, including many monks and nuns. According to the organisers, some 25,000 worshippers attended Zeman’s beatification.
The programme accompanying Zeman’s beatification will continue later this evening with a gala ceremony at Bratislava’s HANT Arena. On Sunday, Bratislava Metropolitan Archbishop Stanislav Zvolensky will celebrate a Holy Mass in the priest’s birthplace – Bratislava’s borough of Vajnory.
Born on January 4, 1915, Zeman became a Salesian priest at the age of 25. He subsequently served as chaplain, school councillor and chemistry teacher. After the communists shut down the monasteries in Slovakia on April 13, 1950, Zeman organised three illegal escapes for young Salesian seminarians to Italy in order to allow them to complete their studies and receive priestly ordination. The third escape across a swollen Morava River on April 9, 1951 went awry, however, with Zeman and the escapees captured and interrogated. Zeman, who was tortured during the investigation, was finally sentenced to 25 years of imprisonment. He was released on parole with poor health after 13 years and died five years later as a result of his torture and imprisonment on January 8, 1969.