Blessed Karl and Fatima – Part IV

Written by a guest writer – Hannah Houston | Blessed Karl is an example of a true Christian leader, despite the modern politically incorrect history…

Read Part Three HERE.

A Victim Soul

Despite suffering the dismantling of the Holy Roman Empire and being exiled to the island of Madeira, Blessed Karl still strove to do the Will of God and to work for the restoration of the Empire. Prompted by this belief, he informed his wife that God was demanding that he offer up his life for the good of his people. He stated resolutely, “I will do it!”[1]

On the island of Madeira, The Royal Family was given meager lodgings in Quinta do Monte, 2,000 feet up a mountain. It was unheated and had fungus growing in the wall. The family was not allowed firewood and they shivered throughout the cold winter.[2] Two thousand years earlier, at a stable in Bethlehem, similarly poor lodgings were all that was considered “fit for a king.” Given this cruel exile, it is not surprising that within a few weeks, Karl became ill with pneumonia and influenza.[3] The medical service on Madeira was quite poor, as was the royal family’s living conditions, and the doctors quickly gave up hope.

Emperor Karl’s duties, however, were not quite finished. All his life he had been a faithful son of the Catholic Church. He had diligently performed his duties as soldier, prince, husband, father and as Emperor. His final step was to provide for the welfare, both spiritually and physically, of his wife and family.

The Death of a Saint

As he lay slowly dying, Emperor Karl prayed for each of his eight children by name, including his youngest daughter who was yet to be born, saying: “[O God,] preserve them in body and in soul, and let them die rather than commit a mortal sin. Amen! Thy Will be done. Amen.”[4] He also told his wife that, upon his death, she should ask the king of Spain for help. Zita found this odd, as they had not spoken to the King for years. Yet she humbled herself and obediently followed his advice, which proved instrumental in taking care of all the family’s needs.[5] In memoirs concerning her husband, his beloved wife, Zita, wrote:

“In this atmosphere of the most warm love, of unbreakable trust, of honesty without reserve, of intimate security and reciprocal respect, our marriage became extraordinarily happy. [Karl] was the most faithful, loving, good, patient, gentle, and considerate husband.

“His family was all his joy here on Earth; he wanted always to have them around him and he tried, with a sweet but firm hand, to lead his children and me ever closer to God.

“And the last words he left me with as a dying man were: ‘I love you infinitely! In the Heart of Jesus we will meet again!’”[6]

Before he entered eternal life the Emperor forgave all his enemies and stated, “I must suffer like this, so that my people can come together again.”[7] He continually prayed the Rosary and the litanies of the Sacred Heart, of Loretto, and of St. Joseph.[8] During the final days of his life he told Zita, “My entire endeavor has always been to clearly recognize the Will of God in all things and to follow it as completely as possible.”[9] Thus, in peace of mind and soul, on the first day of April 1922, Emperor Karl passed to eternal life with the words: “Thy Will be done. Yes, yes. As You will it…Jesus.”[10] On his tomb are placed the words, Thy Will Be Done.

The Sacrifice God Now Requires

Reflecting on this short, yet powerful life of the last king of Austria-Hungary, an obvious parallel can be drawn in regard to one overlooked aspect of the Message of Fatima. This lesser-known message was given after the initial apparitions. It occurred in 1943, when Our Lord appeared to Sr. Lucia and told her: “The sacrifice required of every person is the fulfillment of his duties in life and the observance of My law. This is the penance that I now seek and require.”[11]

Upon pondering the meaning of Our Lord’s words we can reflect on the life of Emperor Karl Habsburg as an example. He did not live a holy life and gain Heaven because he was an emperor or even because he sought the end of the war. His beatification sprung from his pious and dutiful life. In a life wholly dedicated to doing God’s holy Will, Blessed Karl was able to fulfill the words of Christ, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called Children of God,” and “Blessed are they who suffer persecution for justice’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.” As Emperor Karl said himself, “My entire endeavor has always been to clearly recognize the Will of God in all things and to follow it as completely as possible.”[12] Truly his life is an example to us of how to heed that request of Our Lord. Emperor Karl clearly sought to fulfill his duties to his parents, his studies, to the Emperor, to his wife, his family, his Empire, to the world at large as the leader of a great nation, and ultimately to the Blessed Mother and Our Lord.

An Incorrupt Body

In 1972, after a miracle obtained through his intercession, Blessed Karl’s tomb was opened in Funchal, Madeira, and his body was found incorrupt.[13] In 2004, Emperor Karl was beatified, his feast day being placed on October 21.

It should also be noted that the canonization cause for his wife, Empress Zita of Bourbon-Parma, has also been initiated. It was begun by His Excellency Yves Le Saux, Bishop of LeMans (France), in 2009. Pope Benedict XVI has formally declared her a ‘Servant of God.’

A Grave Error of the Revolution

Many Catholics do not realize the importance of the Holy Roman Empire. Perhaps this is because we are so imbued with the ‘spirit of democracy and liberalism’ and from an early age we have been brainwashed into being against monarchy.[14] However, faith and reason inform us that, of all systems of government, a monarchy most closely mirrors the hierarchical structure of Heaven. And here on earth we are supposed to be practicing for Heaven. Moreover, numerous Church Fathers consider the Holy Roman Empire to be that mysterious force which St. Paul says holds back the coming of Antichrist (2 Thessalonians).[15] Perhaps these are reasons why satan, and those men that do his work upon earth, are so opposed to Catholic monarchies.

Our Lady of Fatima came to oppose the errors of Russia, which are the errors of the great revolution against God.[16] One of those errors is that State and Church should be separated, but for public society that is tantamount to the separation of Body and Soul. While Church and State are distinct and each has its sphere of competence and authority, they are meant to support one another for the good of men, More importantly, both Church and State (as well as every individual and every organization, both in private life and public life) must submit to the universal Kingship of Christ.

The Church’s primary end is the salvation of souls, and the State’s primary end is the natural and common good of its people. These two ends are not mutually exclusive, but rather rely upon each other and are interdependent. If men are ever to experience peace in this world – which is what Our Lady of Fatima has guaranteed – then Church and State will have to once again be harmoniously united. Blessed Karl’s ideals and the Empire he ruled is an example of Church and State working together for the salvation of souls, in addition to providing a fledgling type of the model to come.

A Fatima Rosary Crusade

We also do well to recall that the only time in history when Communism peacefully retreated was when the Soviets inexplicably evacuated East Austria. As faithful Catholics, we know this is because of the great Rosary Crusade spearheaded by Father Petrus Pavilcek during 1947-1955. By 1955, more than half a million Austrians had pledged to pray the Rosary daily to Our Lady of Fatima, which represented ten percent (a tithe) of the population. An even greater number partook in Marian processions and public Rosaries. The Prime Minister of Austria, Leopold Figl, (principal representative of the State) joined the Crusade; and eventually even Cardinal Theodor Innitzer, Archbishop of Vienna (principal representative of the Church), joined the Crusade.

On May 13, 1955, the Soviets, for no human explanation, signed a treaty agreeing to withdraw their troops from their occupation of Austria. By October, the month of the Rosary, the last Soviet troops were withdrawn. Austria was spared the terrible scourge of the Iron Curtain and the Errors of Russia, which descended upon East Germany and most of the nations in Eastern Europe. It is hard for us not to also attribute some of this miraculous work to the intercession of Blessed Karl – who offered himself as a victim soul for his beloved homeland.

Austria and the Vaccine

Finally, it is significant to note that Austria announced their vaccine mandate precisely 100 years to the very day that the exiled Habsburg family arrived on Madeira.[17] Would a benevolent ruler have ever inflicted such an order as this vaccine mandate upon his subjects? It is certain that Blessed Karl, who lived the Message of Fatima without ever having heard it, would not.

In desperation, many Catholics of Austria turned to Heaven for help by praying the Rosary, making weekly Marian processions, and begging Heaven for aid. In the end, God heard and answered the prayers of the people of the former Holy Roman Empire; the Austrian government removed its anti-Catholic vaccine edict during the centenary of Blessed Karl’s sacrificial death.[18] Perhaps, Austria, like St. Francisco, had to pray many Rosaries.

Ultimately, we too must pursue the Holy Will of God and perform the duties which are required of our state in life. If we strive to accomplish His Will, as asked by Our Lord and Our Lady, and as performed by Blessed Karl Habsburg, God will bless our actions and have mercy on this crumbling world.

Blessed Karl of Austria-Hungary,
pray for us!


EDITORS NOTE: 

Readers who have enjoyed reading about this topic might also be interested in attending the Blessed Emperor-King Karl von Habsburg Symposium in Dallas, Texas on October 15, 2022. Speakers will include Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Archduke Eduard von Hapsburg, Hungarian Ambassador to the Holy See, and direct descendent of Emperor Franz Josef (Blessed Karl’s predecessor), an interview with with Princess Maria-Anna Hapsburg-Galitzine, granddaughter of Blessed Karl, and Suzanne Pearson.

Read about the Conference and get tickets HERE.

 


ENDNOTES:

[1] Zeßner-Spitzenberg, Prof. Hans Karl, Ein Kaiser Stirbt, p. 15.

[2]Blessed Karl von Hapsburg’ by Fr. Geroge W. Rutler, posted at catholiceducation.org (3 November 2013).

[3] ‘Exiled kingdoms: The Resolute Peacemaker Blessed Karl of Austria’ by Fabian Mangion, posted at timesofmalta.com (1 April 2022).

[4] Zeßner-Spitzenberg, Prof. Hans Karl, Ein Kaiser Stirbt.

[5] Coulombe, Blessed Charles of Austria, p. 265.

[6] Found in Pearson, Suzanne, “Blessed Karl of Austria and the Surprising Fatima Connection”:

https://www.emperorcharles.org

[7] Carroll, 1917 Red Banner, White Mantle, p. 124.

[8] Coulombe, Blessed Charles of Austria.

[9] Zeßner-Spitzenberg, Prof. Hans Karl, Ein Kaiser Stirbt, p. 33.

[10] Coulombe, Blessed Charles of Austria, p. 267.

[11] Pearson, “Blessed Karl of Austria and the Surprising Fatima Connection”: https://www.emperorcharles.org

[12] Zeßner-Spitzenberg, Prof. Hans Karl, Ein Kaiser Stirbt, p. 33.

[13] Carroll, 1917 Red Banner, White Mantle, p. 130.

[14] To help counteract these errors, we strongly recommend Chris Ferrara’s excellent work, Liberty the God that Failed (Angelico Press, 2012).

[15] 2 Thessalonians 2:3-8 reads: “Let no man deceive you by any means, for unless there come a revolt first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition … And now you know what withholdeth, that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity already worketh; only that he who now holdeth, do hold, until he be taken out of the way. And then that wicked one shall be revealed…” This power that withholdeth could be the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, St. Michael the Archangel, the Papacy, or the Holy Roman Empire. An interpretation identifying it as any one or a combination of these, is certainly upheld by tradition and the Church Fathers, Doctors, and Saints.

[16] See The Fatima Crusader, Issue 128 articles “The ‘Errors of Russia’” by Andrew Cesanek and “The History of Revolution” by Eric Bermingham.

[17] Library of Congress (2021), “Austria: Government Adopts Immediate Nationwide Lockdown; General COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate to Start February 1” [web page]. Retrieved from, https://www.loc.gov

[18] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/mar/09/austria-suspends-mandatory-covid-vaccination-law

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