One of the Last Celebrations of Christendom

You will hear more about World War I beginning soon, as 2014 marks the 100th Anniversary of the beginning of the war that finally killed off the remnants of Christendom. Whether one marks the Protestant revolution, the French Revolution, or some other event as the beginning of the end, the final destruction of the Holy Roman/Austrian-Hungarian Empire was the death certificate moment.

As it happens, today marks the 97th Anniversary of the last coronation of the Hungarian Kingship-- in this case, Emperor Blessed Karl of Austria and Empress Zita were crowned King and Queen of Hungary in Budapest on December 30, 1916. According to long tradition, the Emperor himself could not issue binding law in Hungary until he was crowned there according to the Hungarian custom.

The photo above is from that joyous day. Below is a summary of the ceremony, thanks to Wikipedia (so don't write your research papers based on it). Please note how beautiful the idea and practice of a Catholic Monarchy are indicated by the ceremony itself.

Like everything else Catholic, the concept is reviled today. How fitting that the last Holy Roman Emperor should have been a saintly man, raised to the altars. Blessed Karl of Austria, pray for us scattered orphans of Christendom!
continue at St Louis Catholic


  1. A relic of Blessed Karl may be venerated at St. Mary Mother of God Church in Washington, D.C.'s Chinatown (which neighborhood was heavily German before it became Chinese). Old St. Mary's, a beautiful house of worship, is the site of celebrations of the Traditional Mass on Sundays, Fridays and First Saturdays.

    Blessed Karl, pray for us!

  2. Am I really reading this correctly? Just because Blessed Emperor Karl was a holy man, doesn't mean that Monarchy is a preferential or holier form of governance. The Holy Roman Empire for most if it's history can be described as being not particularly Holy, Roman, or an Empire. :) The Papal loss of temporal power in the form of the Papal States is probably the best thing that ever happened to the Holy See; It allows the church to focus on spiritual matters and holiness and thereby exert influence on governments.

    1. Maybe I missed something but do you realize what atrocities were committed by the secular democracies that replaced the kingdoms of the Holy Roman Empire? Christian kingdoms had their fair share of injustices, but absolutely nothing reaching to the bloodbath of the last 100 years. This great democracy here in the US was saved from the English by the French king, and in return we allowed him to be butchered(after being offered to save his life) by his own people for (if we are to believe the standard story) taxing his people to make it happen . It was not a Christian King who dropped an a-bomb on a civilian city, so I think we ought to be careful casting stones in a house of glass.

      I don't deny the teaching on religious freedom(something already provided for in the Austro-Hungarian Empire!). But providentially God chose to grow the mustard seed through the kingdoms of Christendom, and I don't plan to spit on my ancestors graves. I trust you read the rest of the article. There is nothing so beautiful as the faithfulness of the ceremonies of these Christian kings. I would recommend finding the details on the funeral of Bl. Karl.


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