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Beatification of Fr. Titus Zeman - strong invitation to build a vocation culture

By Our Own Correspondent

Generalate, Rome, 10 May 2017 -- Another Beatification is coming soon for the Salesian Family! This time a special martyrdom witness to the vocation culture. Fr. Titus lived his life of suffering with a great spirit of generosity as an offering: "Even if I lose my life I do not consider it a waste, knowing that at least one of those whom I have saved has become a priest to take my place".

In April 1950, when the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia banned 12.000 religious and began deporting many of them to concentration camps, it became necessary to organise clandestine trips to Turin so young Salesians could complete their studies. Fr Zeman undertook to organise this risky activity. He organised two expeditions of more than 60 young Salesians. During a third, Fr Zeman, along with the other young Salesians, was arrested. He then underwent a difficult trial, during which he was accused of being a traitor to his country and a Vatican spy, and he risked the death penalty. On 22 February 1952 he was instead condemned to 25 years in prison, then released from prison after 13 years on 10 March 1964. By now suffering obviously from the long ordeal in prison he died five years later, on 8 January 1969, but very much known for his holiness and indeed his martyrdom.

From the opening of the diocesan process in 2010 to the recognition of the martyrdom last February 2017 by Pope Francis, it is a very short time to know another of 170 Salesian Family models. Let's take the opportunity to know Fr. Titus and his zeal for Vocations and for Don Bosco before the beatification, An excellent website in 4 languages is very helpful (administered by Fr. Rastislav Hamracek, moderator).

In his native Slovakia the Salesian are now the most numerous Catholic religious congregation and the example of Fr. Titus does attract also many boys, altar boys and animators to follow Jesus in the footsteps of Don Bosco. Basic materials available on the BOSCOLINK.

Prayer for the Canonisation of Fr Titus Zeman

    Almighty God,
    you called Fr Titus Zeman to follow the charism of St John Bosco.
    Under the protection of the Help of Christians
    he became a priest and teacher of the young.
    He lived according to your commandments,
    and was known and loved by his people
    for his warmth of character and readiness to help anyone.
    When the Church’s enemies suppressed human rights and freedom of faith
    Fr Titus did not lose courage and persevered on the way of virtue.
    For his faithfulness to the Salesian vocation
    and his generous service of the Church he was imprisoned and tortured.
    He bravely resisted his torturers and was humiliated and laughed at for it.
    He suffered everything for love and in love.
    We ask you, Almighty Father, to glorify your faithful servant
    so that we may be able to venerate him as a Saint.
    We ask you this through Jesus Christ your Son,
    and through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, Help of Christians.

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