The New Liturgical Movement reported today that there’s going to be a Mass in Cincinnati in honor of Bl. Karl von Habsburg, last emperor of Austria-Hungary and negotiator of peace. Starting World War I wasn’t his idea; he wasn’t on the throne then. He ruled only from 1916 to 1918, and started trying to make peace right away, among other just war measures. After being dethroned, he and his wife the ex-Empress Zita, and their eight kids, all ended up in Portugal. So yeah, the man lived a holy life in weird circumstances, and he helped his wife and family do the same. He died young, in 1922. His feast day is not his death day, but his wedding anniversary, October 21.
(His wife was an amazing and long-lived lady, whom some say should also be up for sainthood. All that happens, and then her husband dies, too. She and the kids eventually ended up in Canada, living on the peanuts they could earn and the fruits and dandelion greens that Zita managed to forage in public parks. But eventually things got better and more middle-class. She passed away in 1989 with lots of grandkids.)
One of the miracles approved toward his cause of sainthood was the healing of a Baptist lady in Florida, believe it or not.
Anyway, there’ll be a nice morning Mass at 11 AM on August 24, and then a nice talk about a Hapsburg by a Hapsburg, which isn’t something you get every day. The Habsburg in question is Bl. Karl’s great-grandson. He got married last year to a nice young pro-life activist from Cincinnati, so you can hardly get more hardcore Catholic than that! They met at another Mass for Bl. Karl, after the lady got interested in Zita and unwarily prayed for her intercession in helping her discern. Nothing like a little heavenly matchmaking, I guess. (More pics here.) The New Liturgical Movement article has the email for more info. (And I fixed the bad link.)
It cracks me up that, with all the German Catholic heritage in Zinzinnati, there’s now a Blessed connected to Cincy whose nationality was Austrian, Hungarian, and a bunch more (but he was of German and Spanish heritage among others). So a melting pot guy for a melting pot part of Ohio. Fun!