Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Bl. Emperor Charles

Today is the appointed day for the Feast of Bl. Charles of Austria. 


The Emperor Charles I of Austria - King Charles IV of Hungary

Image: Wikipedia 

Following on from the very successful and well-attended talk by the Emperor’s great grandson Archduke Imre about the life of the Emperor and his consort to the Oxford University Newman Society at the beginning of this year a group of us hoped to establish a local branch of the Kaiser Karl League of Prayer ( Gebetsliga ) to support his cause and that of the Servant of God the Empress Zita - today is the anniversary of their wedding in 1911. Unfortunately circumstances have not made it possible for us to do that yet, but we hope to in coming months. 

The Oxford Oratory has a relic of the Bl. Emperor - one of the few in this country - which was presented to it by the Imperial Family in recent years.

The website of the Gebetsliga can be seen at  Emperor Karl League of Prayer — Blessed Karl of Austria and they have a collection of prayers for the Cause at Prayers

Imperial Monogram of 
Emperor Charles I

Image: Wikipedia

The Gebetsliga website has these quotations from the Emperor:

  • "Now, we must help each other to get to Heaven." Addressing Empress Zita on 22 October 1911, the day after their wedding.
  • "I am an officer with all my body and soul, but I do not see how anyone who sees his dearest relations leaving for the front can love war." Addressing Empress Zita after the outbreak of World War I.
  • Privately, Charles left no doubt that he believed himself to be the rightful emperor. He wrote to Friedrich Gustav Piffl, the Archbishop of Vienna: "I did not abdicate, and never will [...] I see my manifesto of 11 November as the equivalent to a cheque which a street thug has forced me to issue at gunpoint [...] I do not feel bound by it in any way whatsoever."
  • "I have done my duty, as I came here to do. As crowned King, I not only have a right, I also have a duty. I must uphold the right, the dignity and honor of the Crown.... For me, this is not something light. With the last breath of my life I must take the path of duty. Whatever I regret, Our Lord and Saviour has led me." Addressing Cardinal János Csernoch after the defeat of his attempt to regain the Hungarian throne in 1921. The British Government had vainly hoped that the Cardinal would be able to persuade him to renounce his title as King of Hungary.
  • "I must suffer like this so my people will come together again." Spoken in Madeira, during his last illness.
  • "I can't go on much longer... Thy will be done... Yes... Yes... As you will it... Jesus!" Reciting his last words while contemplating a crucifix held by Empress Zita
Bl. Emperor Charles Pray for us

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