Wednesday, June 02, 2004

The Blessed Karl I

It was announced yesterday - although the letter is dated earlier - that the last emperor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire is to be beatified. He was the only head of state during The Great War to fully co-operate with the peace initiatives of Pope Benedict. Probably the only one to co-operate with them at all.


Announcing the Beatification of the Servant of God Emperor Karl of Austria

With thanksgiving to God’s providential wisdom, it is a sincere pleasure for me as President of the League of Prayers to announce that our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, will add Emperor Karl of Austria to the list of Blesseds on Sunday, the 3rd of October 2004, in Rome. For all members of the worldwide League of Prayers for Emperor Karl, and for every person of good will, this is reason to praise Him Who is working and fulfilling all that is good and noble in us, Our Lord and God.

After an extensive investigation into the life and the death of Emperor Karl of Austria, the Church now confirms definitively: Emperor Karl is a heroic example of Christian virtues. Acquired during a life lived responsibly as a human being, statesman, husband and father, and developed even up until his death in exile, his virtues are shining examples of his personal journey towards Christ.

His confidence, despite the uncertainty of his times, was motivated by the words of the Holy Gospels: “Thy Will be done.” Even in the darkest, loneliest, and hardest hours of his life, this was his clear aim.

On his deathbed Emperor Karl said: “I have to suffer so much so that my peoples can again come together”.

Today, decades later, his peoples have found new forms of communal identity. May they recognize in the newly beatified Emperor, who was devoted to all of them, a heavenly intercessor and an example illuminating the way into the future, a future which is responsible before God, and responsible for the respect and dignity of every human being.

St. Polten, am 18. Mai 2004
Bishop Dr. Kurt Krenn, President League of Prayers for Emperor Karl of Austria


There is a website dedicated to the advancement of his cause here.