To the last ruler of Hungary and the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, IV. We remember King Charles on October 21st
Charles of Austria, Emperor of Austria and King of the Hungarian Apostles, was born in Persenbeu on the Danube on August 17, 1887. His father was Archduke Otto of the Austrian dynasty of Habsburg-Lorraine, and his mother was Maria Saxony Archduchess Maria.
He was educated as a Catholic, studied at the Benedictine High School in Vienna, and then studied law and economics in Prague. He began his military career in 1903, and the multiethnic Monarchy was educated in almost every language.
He was not yet 16 years old when, on September 1, 1903, he was appointed lieutenant of the 1st Uranus Regiment. From that moment until his exile from his homeland, he did not take off his military uniform, wore it proudly, not as a sign of power, but as a symbol of service for his homeland, the empire.
On October 21, 1911, in Schwarzau Castle, he married Princess Zita Bourbon, the last prince of Parma, daughter of Robert. They were both very serious about marriage, especially Archduke Charles, who was guided by the most sacred and truthful intentions. Eight children were born from their marriage.
Charles was away from the throne, in rural garrisons, until 1914, when his uncle, Archduke Ferenc Ferdinand, was assassinated in Sarajevo, making Archduke Charles the heir to the throne.
The death of Emperor Franz Joseph on November 21, 1916, in the middle of World War I — and thus at the least appropriate moment — struck the 29-year-old Charles, who had to bear a heavy burden.
Charles became emperor and king in the third year of World War II. He ruled for only two years. During this time he mastered the basics of Hungarian constitutional law, he not only learned the theorems of St. Stephen’s state idea, but also made it an integral part of his thinking.
This was clearly reflected during his brief reign. He would have been an excellent king in peacetime, but in the midst of the vicissitudes of war, he could not keep his empire together. The Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, which suffered a military defeat in the First World War, disintegrated in November 1918.
At the end of the war IV. Charles’s conduct made peace so that in Austria, without further bloodshed and civil war, the transition to another social order would take place.
He was the only head of state of the war powers who fully followed the XV. Pope Benedict’s aspirations for peace, but the deep Catholic feelings that pervade his soul, unfortunately did not characterize the leaders of the other warring nations, so he repeatedly found no desire for peace to be heard. Seeing the unsustainability of his situation, Károly resigned from his participation in Austrian state affairs on November 11, and then two days later, but maintained his claim to the throne.
“If I ever return to Hungary, I will certainly not do so out of a desire to rule. I have worn a crown of thorns so far, and a crown of thorns is what Hungary can give me back. The oath of coronation always means that much must be connected in the prosperity and decay of the king and the nation, ”he said.
In Swiss emigration he made two unsuccessful attempts to regain the Hungarian throne, first between March 27 and April 5, 1921, and then on October 20-23. After the fall of the Second Royal Coup, as he still refused to relinquish the throne, the Entente powers transported him with his family to the remote island of Madeira, Funchal.
He lived here in modest conditions until his death on April 1, 1922, in the Spanish flu. He was only 34 years old. He was no longer worth the birth of his eighth child. His earthly remains have been laid to rest in the sanctuary of Nossa Senhora do Monte (Our Lady of the Mountain) (Madeira, Portugal).
In Hungary, on November 6, 1921, the National Assembly declared the dethronement of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine. Charles’ firstborn, Otto Habsburg, who took an active part in European political life, resigned his personal claim to the Austrian throne in 1961.
Charles, the “emperor of peace,” bore his vomit with dignity and without complaint, seeing God’s will in what happened: “If we fail, we must be thankful to God, for his ways are not our ways.” He offered his sufferings for the peoples entrusted to him: “I must suffer so much that my peoples may find one another again.”
His whole life was characterized by a sense of duty and a sense of responsibility. Self-control was extremely important to him, as he said, “this is the most difficult reign”. From his childhood, he had a special reverence for the Sacrament of the Altar. Wherever he lived, there was always a private chapel in his residence where the Eucharist was kept. At night he prayed many times in silent solitude at the light of the eternal candle.
The Catholic Church elevated the last apostolic Hungarian king to the ranks of the saints.
II. Pope John Paul inaugurated Happiness in Rome on October 3, 2004 in St. Peter’s Square. He set his liturgical memorial day on October 21st. The Feast of the Blessed King thus sits not on the anniversary of his death but on the anniversary of his marriage, thus drawing attention to his exemplary marriage and to the fact that marriage can be one of the distinguished ways of becoming a saint.
Source: Past-Kor, Hungarian Courier
(Kornélia Berényi / Felvidék.ma)