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Papal tribute to Blessed Charles of Austria, Hapsburg family

November 07, 2016

Pope Francis received members of the Hapsburg family on November 5 and paid tribute to Blessed Charles I (1887-1922), the last emperor of Austria and king of Hungary, as “first and foremost a good family father, and as such, a servant of life and peace.”

“He had known war, having served as a simple soldier at the beginning of the First World War,” the Pope continued. “Assuming his reign in 1916, and sensitive to the voice of Pope Benedict XV, he did his utmost to promote peace, at the cost of being misunderstood and ridiculed. In this too he offers us an example, more relevant than ever, and we can invoke him as an intercessor to obtain from God peace for humanity.”

“The Habsburg family today does not turn to the past in a nostalgic manner but, on the contrary, is actively present in the current moment, with its challenges and its needs,” the Pope added. He noted that some members of the family have followed Christ in priestly and religious vocations, while others “hold prominent roles in organizations of solidarity and human and cultural development; as well as in support of the project of Europe as a common home founded on human and Christian values.”


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