(Bratislava) – Several thousand people are expected to arrive in Bratislava to personally witness tomorrow´s beatification of Salesian martyr Fr. Titus Zeman who was persecuted and tortured to death for helping young priests escape to freedom from communist Czechoslovakia. “We hope that this celebration will be a great encouragement in faith for everyone”, says Fr. Jozef Izold, provincial of the Salesians in Slovakia. According to Church representatives, this will be “the event of the decade” for its religious and social importance. Celebrations start tonight with a prayer vigil at St. Martin’s Cathedral. According to Msgr. Stanislav Zvolensky, president of the Bishops’ Conference of Slovakia, “we all need examples of faith, firmness, conviction and faithfulness to the Church. Fr. Titus was such an example of love towards young people. He wanted to help them live their priestly vocation and that is why he organized several escapes across the border. Joining in prayer to commemorate him means to be strengthened by his example”. Cardinal Jozef Tomko draws the attention to the fact that many of the young priests who successfully crossed the border thanks to Fr. Titus are well-known today for their work, like poets Gorazd Zvonicky and Anton Hlinka; psychologist and university teacher Klement Polacek; and renowned expert in biblical science Jozef Heriban. “Their names mean a lot to the Church in Slovakia”, Cardinal Tomko emphasizes, inviting all the faithful to live a “holy adventure” inspired by the life and testimony of Fr. Titus. For more information: www.tituszeman.sk.