On August 6, 2021, the Positio super martyrdom, was presented to the Congregation of Saints. This document systematically summarizes the results of the Diocesan Process that began on June 9, 2013 in Skalica (Archdiocese of Bratislava; Slovakia) and which concluded on February 24, 2018.
The seminarian, Jan HAVLIK, CM, was born in Vickovany (Skalica, Slovakia) on February 12, 1928. After finishing high school, he entered the Congregation of the Mission in Banska Bystrika (1949). On October 29, 1951, he and other seminarians were detained in Nitra. The state police interrogated and tortured him for sixtee months, leaving him hungry and cold. After a trial (February 3-5), he was sentenced to ten years in prison. Refusing to betray his faith, his sentence was extended to eleven years in prison. He spent the last period of his imprisonment at Valdice. Even in prison he was interrogated, mistreated, tortured and left without food and in the cold. He always acted in a courageous manner.
After the verdict, he said to his mother, “Don’t cry, mother. We had to offer a sacrifice to God at the altar, but now, in place of the host, we will elevate our lives and our sufferings to Him”.
When he was able to leave prison, he was sent home, seriously ill, where he died. He led a holy life: devoted, excellent in singing, gifted in word, devoted to the Virgin Mary, persevering and loving in prayer.
In September 2021, Pope Francis visited Slovakia and in his address, he recalled the martyrs who witnessed to the love of Christ in very difficult times, when everything was telling them to remain silent, take cover, and not profess the faith. ¡How many generous people have suffered and died here in Slovakia in the name of Jesus! A witness born of love for the One whom they had contemplated for a long time … contempated so much that they resembled him, even in death. For this reason, the Pope invited the people to preserve the memory of the simple people who gave their lives, loving God to the end. They are our heroes, he said, heroes of everyday life whose lives change history. Witnesses, in fact, generate other witnesses. Thus faith spreads, he stressed, not with the power of the world, but with the wisdom of the cross; not with structures, but with witness.
Under the printed image at the beginning of the document dedicated to the history of his martyrdom, we find the following words: Seminarian of the Congregation of the Mission of Saint Vincent. A generous young man whose actions bore witness to the highest values. As a witness to the faith, he served the truth even at the cost of his own life. He spent eleven years in prison and was forced to work in the uranium mines. After eleven years of suffering, he was released from prison at the end of his life. He died at the age of 37 as a result of the inhuman treatment received during his imprisonment.