A few days ago at the official website for The Emperor Karl League of Prayer, I came across something I’d like to share with you, my readers, as we approach the feast day of Blessed Emperor Karl. As you probably all know by now, the saintly Emperor has been a huge influence in my life, and I have been praying annually for his canonization. So it is with great pleasure that I present to you a brilliant recounting of an important day for the Imperial-Royal soldiers on the Italian Front, written by author Christopher Reibold. The story itself is based on a true event in Blessed Karl’s life, attested to in the biographies prepared for his beatification. So please enjoy it over there at the League of Prayer website:
And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars: And being with child, she cried travailing in birth, and was in pain to be delivered.
And there was seen another sign in heaven: and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads, and ten horns: and on his head seven diadems:
And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered; that, when she should be delivered, he might devour her Son.
And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with an iron rod: and her Son was taken up to God, and to His throne- The Revelations (Apocalypse) of St. John 12:1-5
On the days of December ninth through the twelfth in 1531, the twelfth year of the reign of Emperor and King Charles V, our Lady appeared to the Aztec Cuauhtlatoatzin, who had taken the baptismal name of Juan Diego. Five times she appeared to him, and the final time she appeared to him she left the Indian with a miraculous image of herself, an image which exists to this day. The natives, hitherto slaves of a bloodthirsty almost demonic cult, flocked to the image of our Mother and were converted.
The decisive task of Christians consists in seeking, recognizing and following God’s will in all things. The Christian statesman, Charles of Austria, confronted this challenge every day. To his eyes, war appeared as “something appalling”. Amid the tumult of the First World War, he strove to promote the peace initiative of my Predecessor, Benedict XV.
From the beginning, the Emperor Charles conceived of his office as a holy service to his people. His chief concern was to follow the Christian vocation to holiness also in his political actions. For this reason, his thoughts turned to social assistance. May he be an example for all of us, especially for those who have political responsibilities in Europe today!- Pope St. John Paul II
These few sentences eloquently express the heroic life of Blessed Karl, the Last Emperor and King. Pope Saint Pius X said of him that he was “Heaven’s reward to Austria for all her faithfulness to Pope and Church.” He took his sacred duty as King-Emperor as it was meant to be taken. He magnificently conveyed the principle of Catholic Kingship: “I have done my duty, as I came here to do. As crowned King, I not only have a right, I also have a duty. I must uphold the right, the dignity and honor of the Crown…. For me, this is not something light. With the last breath of my life I must take the path of duty. Whatever I regret, Our Lord and Savior has led me.”
One of the biggest hardships for Emperor Karl was the separation from his children as he and Empress Zita were sent into exile on Madeira. The children remained in Switzerland until Empress Zita, with many restrictions, could travel there and bring them back with her to Madeira.
“Love Your Enemy”
The Emperor heroically practiced the commandment to “love your enemy.”
Throughout his life he continually, and in exemplary ways, pardoned others. Emperor Karl suffered greatly from lies, slander and many hardships throughout his life. Yet, the ultimate example of his pardoning others were the words he uttered on his deathbed: “I forgive all my enemies, all who have slandered me, and all who have worked against me.”
“To the American leftists, we must strongly bear in mind, Austria was far more wicked than Germany: It existed in contradiction to the Mazzinian principle of the national state, it had inherited many traditions as well as symbols from the Holy Roman Empire (doubleheaded eagle, black-gold colors, etc.), its dynasty had once ruled over Spain (another bête noire), had been leading in the Counterreformation, had headed the Holy Alliance, had fought against the Risorgimento, had suppressed the Magyar rebellion under Kossuth (who has a monument in New York), had morally supported the monarchical experiment in Mexico.
Hapsburg-this evoked memories of “Roman Catholicism,” of the Armada, the Inquisition, of Metternich, of Lafayette jailed in Olmütz, and Silvio Pellico in Brünn’s Spielberg fortress. Such a state had to be broken up, such a dynasty had to disappear. So finally the House of Austria went into exile and was replaced by a simple common man from Austria, allegedly a “house painter,” who drowned the world in a flood of blood and tears.”- Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Leftism
I am convinced that it is the will of a higher power that we preserve our home country Austria with its glorious history, even though today in a smaller form, I am convinced that this Austria will be exemplary in the shaping of public life for other peoples, that in this Austria we must also have a great and valuable service to fulfill, and to fulfill to the whole of Germandom. This Austria remains our and our children’s homeland… Just as the crusaders were imbued with the same faith, as a Marco d’Aviano preached here before Vienna, “God wills it” – so we also see with great confidence in the future, in the conviction: God wills it
-Engelbert Dollfuss, Trabrennplatzrede
Born in Texing in Lower Austria on the fourth of October 1892, Engelbert Dollfuss is perhaps the second most controversial Austrian of the Interwar Period. A devout Catholic and Patriot, he is often accused by the Left of being a Fascist. His government is criticized as being Totalitarian and Nationalistic. But was it really? Continue reading
After the death of Conradin, the grandson of the heretic Frederick II, the Empire was thrown into a lawless chaos now called the Interregnum. Men forsook the laws that had governed them and turned to robbery and violence, especially in the region of Southern Swabia (now Switzerland) near the High Rhine and the Aar. Below follows a proximate translation of the history of Count Rudolf IV von Hapsburg, taken from the Chronicon Helveticum (which in turn was taken from earlier sources such as the Chronik der Königsfelden ):
Rudolff Grav von Hapsburg als er einen Priester, der das heilige Sacrament über Feld in tieffen-schlammigten Wege angetroffen…
A Quotable Collection
Part I: G.K. Chesterton
The double eagle is the ancient emblem of the double empire of Rome and of Byzantium; the one head looking to the west and the other to the east, as if it spread its wings from the sunrise to the sunset.it had been the badge of Austria as the representative of the Holy Roman Empire.- The New Jerusalem
Very few authors have written on as many subjects as the great Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), a journalist converted to the faith as well as a poet and fiction writer, and he had very much to say on the subject of the Holy Roman Empire.
When Napoleon marched victoriously into Italy, his second-in-command was being forced back in defeat from the Rhine by none other than the Holy Roman Emperor’s own brother.
Considered one of the greatest military commanders of the Napoleonic Era, Archduke Karl Ludwig Johann was born on the fifth of September 1771, in the Duchy of Tuscany. His father, Holy Roman Emperor Leopold II, then the Duke of Tuscany, sent him in his youth to live with his childless aunt and uncle in Vienna. He later moved to the Austrian Netherlands (modern-day Belgium), where he began his military career, fighting against the army of the Revolutionary French Republic. Continue reading