Monday, January 04, 2010

The Handmaid of God, Zita of Austria-Hungary

Found in the Christmas Eve number of The Wanderer:

Beatification Of Empress Zita Opens: On Gaudete Sunday, December 13, Bishop Yves le Saux of Le Mans, France, announced that the cause of beatification of the Empress Zita, the last empress of Austria and wife of Blessed Emperor Charles, had formally begun. The process was opened in Le Mans, and not in the Swiss Diocese of Chur, where the Empress died 20 years ago in 1989 in Zizers. It was opened there with the consent of the bishop of Chur, and the permission of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, because the Abbey of Solesmes, where the empress frequently went on retreat, is located there.

The ties of the empress with Solesmes go back to 1909 when, after studying with the Visitationist Sisters at Zangberg, Bavaria, she briefly went to study with the Benedictine nuns of the abbey of St. Cecilia of Solesmes, the female sister- abbey of St. Peter of Solesmes, likewise founded by Dom Guéranger. In 1926, Zita became an oblate of St. Peter’s Abbey of Solesmes. She also received a papal indult allowing her to spend three months of each year within the enclosure of St. Cecilia’s Abbey.

If she is raised to the altars, she will also especially be the model of a wife — the deep religiosity of their marriage being exemplified by the famous words of her husband, Blessed Charles, on their wedding day: “Now we must help each other into Heaven.” Significantly, their wedding day, October 21, has already been appointed as the Feast Day of Blessed Charles.

The first two of the links to her husband, Blessed Karl of Austria-Hungary, in the left-hand column are no longer available. But here's a new one: the Wikipedia page has much good information, at least at the moment.

ADDENDUM: The links to Bl Karl and his Empress have been tidied up. One of the dead links is a great loss. It was a Geocities site with some wonderful pictures of Bl Karl that I had seen nowhere else. I'm outraged all over again at Yahoo's precipitate abandonment of the Geocities sites.


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