Friday 7 December 2012, at the Archiepiscopal Seminary, Bratislava, Archbishop Stanislav Zvolenský presided at the solemn closing ceremony for the Diocesan Inquiry in the Beatification and Canonisation Process of Servant of God Fr Titus Titus Zeman (1915-1969), a martyr for vocations.

Members of the diocesan tribunal took part in the closing ceremony (judicial delegate, promoter of justice, notary); members of the historical commission, the postulator general, Fr Pierluigi Cameroni; the vice-postulator, Fr Josef Slivon and his collaborators; many Salesians, led by the provincial, Fr Karol Manik, members of the Salesian Family, some relatives amongst whom three of the Servant of God’s sisters and his nephew Michal Titus Radosinsky, and devotees of Fr Tito’s. The event concluded with a solemn Mass of Thanksgiving in the cathedral in Bratislava at which Archbishop Zvolenský presided. Local media gave prominence to the event.

Fr Titus Zeman, a Slovak Salesian, was born on 4 January 1915 at Vajnory, near Bratislava. He did his secondary school studies at Šaštín, Hronský Svätý Benedikt and Frištak u Holešova, all with the Salesians, then in 1931 entered the novitiate and on 7 March 1938 he made his perpetual profession at the Sacred Heart Church in Rome. He was ordained priest in Turin on 23 June 1940.

When the communist regime in Czechoslovakia forbade movement in 1950, he undertook clandestine trips to Turin so religious could complete their studies there. He was arrested on his third expedition and condemned as traitor of his country and a Vatican spy. He did not receive the death penalty but was given 25 years in prison. Twelve years later he was released, on 10 March 1964, but bore the marks of his suffering in prison. He died 8 January 1969 with a glorious reputation of martyrdom and holiness.

He accepted his Calvary with a great spirit of sacrifice and oblation: “Even though I might lose my life, I would not consider it a waste, knowing that at least one of those I helped could take my place as a priest”.