On Tuesday, October 10, at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Rome, a solemn Eucharist of thanksgiving was celebrated for the beatification of Fr Titus Zeman, Salesian priest and Martyr, which took place in Bratislava, Slovakia, last 30 September.

A large congregation of confreres from the Salesian communities of the city of Rome, its formation houses, representatives and members of the Salesian Family, and in particular, over 100 pilgrims from Slovakia, came together to express gratitude to the Lord for the great gift of testimony of Fr Zeman’s consecrated life as priest and martyr.

Meaningful, too, the location: it was in the Sacred Heart Basilica that on 7 March, 1938, the young Titus Zema professed his perpetual vows in the hands of the Provincial Fr Evaristo Francesco Marcoaldi, sign of a most complete gift that would be sealed with the blood of martyrdom.

The solemn Eucharist, presided by the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, and accompanied by the Provincials of the Central Italy District, Fr Leonardo Mancini, and Slovakia, Fr Jozef Izold, Postulator General, Fr Pierluigi Cameroni and the Vice-Postulator, Fr Jozef Slivon, highlighted the ecclesial and Salesian value of the beatification of Fr Zeman, and his message of martyrs for vocations.

In the homily, Fr Á.F. Artime described the Bratislava event as a powerful donation of from the Holy Spirit, and added that one of the messages Fr Zeman offered today was to “believe in God’s love even in the hour of one’s own trials, pain, misunderstanding; to know how to live in martyrdom, hidden, in doing good in our everyday duties, and doing so with love.” He also pointed out that the testimony of the new Blessed has a great deal of relevance in the preparations and celebration of the next synod dedicated to the theme: “Young people, faith and vocational discernment.”