The Blessed Virgin Mary
On the day of his death the Emperor asked his wife which day it was. “The Mother of God’s day,” answered the Empress. “Saturday, then,” he confirmed delighted. After his death, the body of Emperor Karl was placed in the Marian church of Nossa Senhora do Monte on Madeira, where it still rests today.
Throughout his life the protective mantle of Mary shielded Emperor Karl, which can be seen in the major events of his life: “November 19th [his arrival on Madeira] was a Saturday. Many of the most important days in the life of the Emperor occurred on Saturdays. He was confirmed on a Saturday, reached his majority and married on Saturdays, and was crowned King of Hungary on a Saturday. It was on a Saturday that the King returned home to Hungary in his first attempt to restore the monarchy, and a Saturday after the second Hungarian restoration attempt had failed that he refused, with dire consequences, to give up all claims to the throne. It was a fateful Saturday when the family moved to the foggy atmosphere of the Monte, and the final day of the Emperor’s life, April 1, 1922—when God called His faithful servant home—was a Saturday.”
With the rosary in his hand, Emperor Karl spiritually fought the battles of his life. It is exemplary, that he faithfully prayed the rosary daily. The beads of the rosary, which he received from Pope Saint Pius X, would slide through his fingers as he prayed the familiar prayers. Government business might be urgently demanding his attention, yet the Emperor still made time so that he would have a half-hour to himself to pray a rosary.
As a faithful son of Mary he honored his heavenly Mother through imitation. Modesty, humility, and an open, friendly and engaging nature were some of the virtues he fostered within himself. Consideration of God’s Will, devotion to a deep prayer life, and Marian devotions were fundamental principles in his life. As a loving monarch and father he allowed his heart to be pierced by a sword of sorrow, just as the Blessed Mother’s heart was pierced standing under the cross of her Son.
My Lord and God, I thank You for the maternal care of Mary in the life of Emperor Karl. Help me, that I may faithfully and devoutly follow his example and pray the rosary daily. Hear my petitions and grant my request [mention your intention here] through the intercession of Blessed Emperor Karl.
[Hail Mary. Our Father. Glory Be.]