Blessed Karl of Austria, Blessed Virgin Mary, christendom, Essay, Holy Roman Empire, Our Lady of Fatima, Peace Emperor, Soviet Russia, The Great War
In a world of broken promises, the Mother of God had kept her promise. It remained to be seen how many, even yet, would hear and heed her words and help her by their prayers, and by lives more pleasing to God, to change the course of history…
Charles [of Austria] explained that he sought peace not only because of a “military condition”- the strain and losses of war- but above all “as his solemn duty before God, towards the peoples of his Empire and all belligerents.” In a tempestuous ocean of aggressive and intolerant nationalism, here at last a concern for all Christendom from someone other than the Pope- most fitting in the heir to the Holy Roman Emperors who had been responsible for the temporal welfare of Christendom as a whole…
Generally condemned in consequence of these actions[¹] as a disturber of the peace, Charles- the only sovereign of the powers engaged in the First World War who had conscientiously sought peace- was banished to the Portuguese island of Madeira, without a source of income… Madeira was Portuguese territory, Fátima not so very far away. Had Charles and Zita heard of Our Lady’s coming there?
-Warren H. Carroll, 1917: Red Banners, White Mantle
On the 12th of April in 1918, the last chance of a peaceful resolution to the First World War was destroyed by French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau. Nearly a year before on the 13th of May in 1917, Our Lady appeared to three shepherd children at Fátima in Portugal, calling upon all who would listen to pray the Holy Rosary for the end of the war and the return of peace, which the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XV, had been advocating since the start of the war. No one among the great powers would heed the Pope’s call to peace, save for one devout son of Our Lady, the Most Catholic Emperor whose peace offers the Entente would utterly reject, Karl of Austria.