TODAY IS THE first feast of Blessed Charles since the announcement last December that the cause for the canonisation of his wife, Zita of Bourbon-Parma, has been opened as well. In an age when most people in government and public leadership seem barely even decent, let alone saints, it is all the more important to seek the prayers and intercession of Charles and Zita — husband and wife, mother and father, Emperor and Empress — for the preservation of peace, the prevention of war, and the renovation of our families as well as our societies at large.
Charles was born the son of the second son of the Emperor’s brother and so the possibility of him ever ascending to the Austro-Hungarian throne seemed distant, perhaps even remote. When the great Pope St. Pius X received the young Charles, however, he said:
I bless Archduke Charles, who will be the future Emperor of Austria and will help lead his countries and peoples to great honor and many blessings–but this will not become obvious until after his death.
One saint prophesying the future of another.
A particularly appropriate way of praying for the holy emperor’s intercession would be to say the novena composed by the Emperor Charles Prayer League for Peace Among the Nations (or Kaiser Karl Gebetsliga für den Völkerfrieden), which can be found here.
Pilgrims can also venerate his relics or pray at shrines dedicated to Charles in Australia, the Philippines, Austria, Belgium, Bohemia, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Lebanon, Canada, Mexico, the United States, Brazil, Chile, and of course on the Portuguese island of Madeira where he died and is entombed.
Index: Charles of Austria