Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Kaiser Karl

For those of you who pay attention to such things, I have added Blessed Charles of Austria to my internet prayer saints (the list of saints down the right-side of the blog). Here's a good part of the reason why, though mostly I did because he - like all the blessed in heaven - is a part of the communion of saints whom I understand and admire for my own life.

October 21st is his feast day. Here's a nice site for further review.

As some of you know, Karl's son - Otto - is an advisor to the Dietrich von Hildebrand Legacy Project, an organization of which I am proud to be a member.

Some more about Otto: the Austro-Hungarian Empire dominated central Europe until 1918, when the last Habsburg Emperor, Karl, fled into exile. Karl's death in 1921 made his nine-year-old son Otto head of the Hapsburg family, a position he has now held for over eighty-five years. Born heir presumptive to an empire that stretched from the Tyrol to Transylvania, and from Poland to Sarajevo, Otto von Habsburg's life has both affected and been reflected in some of the most dramatic and historic events of the twentieth century. As a four year old in 1916, he walked in the funeral procession of the Emperor Franz Josef. Otto von Habsburg later became the focus of royalist loyalty, a Habsburg restoration attracting considerable political support until the Second World War. Refusing any contact with Hitler (whose code name for the Anschluss was Operation Otto), he fled first to France then America, where he formed a friendship with F.D. Roosevelt. Never living in the past, he later became a highly respected Member of the European Parliament.

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