I bless Archduke Charles, who will be the future Emperor of Austria and will help lead his countries and peoples to great honor and many blessings — but this will not become obvious until after his death.
-St. Pius X, Audience with Empress (then Princess) Zita of Bourbon-Parma
“In exile far from the lands, you sojourn, Hope of Austria…” These words, written for His Imperial and Royal Majesty Otto while he was still an exile in Spain, might very well apply to his father the last reigning Emperor-King, Karl of Austria. His body still sojourns on the isle of Madeira, the final shores of his exile. It might seem strange to connect Hope with his long suffering, his earthly failure as the powers in the world dethroned him, his young death after an excruciating illness. And yet his suffering was not in vain, rather, it was the beginning of something greater, something we now may not see the end of in our earthly lives.
That we should have such a virtuous Emperor to inspire, such a hero to give us confidence, such a saint to intercede for us; that he should live and suffer in those days when all the world was turned to ash and fiery ruin, is itself a sign of great hope for us. In imitation of Christ, Blessed Karl has inspired us in this War for Christendom, never to lose hope, but to be willing to give the utmost, should even that be sought from us for that which we love. This too should inspire us, that in spite of infamous betrayal, he inspired such a loyalty that brought greatness to those who continued the fight, his son Otto, Captain Karl Burian, Engelbert Dollfuss, Dietrich von Hildebrand and many such others. And yet this loyalty was not chiefly to himself, unlike the personality cults of Leftist “Leaders”, but was for the Glory of God and those who God has made in His Own Image for us to love.
It might seem that we are now in desperate straits, that things are worse than ever before. But the blessing that is to come from Blessed Karl of Austria is not yet fulfilled, and while the Imperial and Royal House of line of the saint survives, we still have hope in its fulfillment. We have survived the Usurper with his Unreich, his Unholy imitation of the Holy Empire of which Blessed Karl was the heir. We have outlasted the terrors of Communism, and the horrors of Nationalist and Racialist regimes. We can certainly withstand and outlast any future totalitarian tyranny that arises, as has been proven time and again. If we fight for anything, we fight for the return of Peace, and the Restoration of the Good that decays.
Blessed Karl is also our hope in that he shows us while even in the midst of grave evil it is possible to be joyful, grateful, and full of love. His love for his family, his careful instruction of his heir, and all of his children, his appreciation for all of God’s blessings bestowed upon him and very beauty of creation, give us hope the we too with God’s grace will never lose the sense of joy and gratitude which will carry us through the strife. May his sense of duty to the Common Good, Equity, Peace, and Freedom, inspire in us the same devotion to that Good which is the glory of Christendom. The blessings that his reign brought his peoples even in caught in the agonies of such a horrible war were immeasurable, yet were a mere shadow of the Life to come.
Blessed Karl, who because of his sacred vow would not surrender his God-given crown, has now received a new Crown, a sign of glory more lasting than jewels of sapphire or of adamant. He has passed death and ultimate defeat, and so now kindles our hearts to fire. It may well be that we must face defeat, and we will go more willing to that defeat knowing that we have fought well, than ever any man went to earthly success. For we have trust in a Goodness which evil will never cast down.
I would with the beleaguered fools be told,
that keep an inner fastness where their gold,
impure and scanty, yet they loyally bring
to mint in image blurred of distant king,
or in fantastic banners weave the sheen
heraldic emblems of a lord unseen
-J.R.R. Tolkien, Mythopoeia