Blessed Charles of Austria
Publisher: TAN Books
Publication Date: August 27, 2020
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A Holy Emperor and His Legacy
October 3, 2004 saw what appeared to many to be a very strange thing: Emperor-King Charles of Austria-Hungary, last Habsburg to rule in Central Europe and wartime foe of the United States, was raised to the altars of the Church as a Blessed by St. John Paul II. But odd as this appeared, the real story of the “Peace Emperor” and his just as remarkable wife reads like a combination of a suspense thriller, Greek tragedy, and hagiography. The inheritor of a tradition of Catholic monarchy dating back to the Roman Empire, Bl. Charles struggled to update it sufficiently to survive in the modern world. A brave soldier coming to the throne during a war whose start he had no part in, he risked everything to bring the bloody conflict to an end. Betrayed on all sides by allies, enemies, and subjects, his deep devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, the Sacred Heart, and the Virgin Mary helped him to avoid hating those who wronged him. Devoted to his wife and children, Charles succeeded, with the help of his loving Empress, in leading a good Catholic family life despite everything. In a life filled with signs and miracles before and after his death, Bl. Charles managed to combine a life of deep piety with intense practicality. After his death, his wife and children continued his work—her cause for beatification is now being considered.
In these pages, prolific Catholic author Charles Coulombe brings to bear his vast erudition, affection for Catholic monarchy, and assorted contacts close to the Hapsburg family, through his residence in Austria in the production of a biography of a man whose thrilling and event-filled life story deserves to be better known.
From his life, we can learn that it is not necessarily the results of the achievements that count, but the will to try to do what is right. And if the rewards don’t come immediately, there is no need to despair, they might come later in heavenly blessings.
--From the Foreword by Archduke Karl von Habsburg
In Blessed Charles of Austria: A Holy Emperor and His Legacy, Charles Coulombe nestles the life of this recent ruler within a vast tapestry spanning centuries. He begins by tracing the idea of empire, the ideals of the Catholic monarchy, and how the Habsburg and Bourbon families developed and intertwined. Within, Emperor Charles himself comes alive as Coulombe melds his political history, his loving marriage with Princess Zita, and his deep Catholic faith into a fast-moving thriller. Looking forward, Coulombe concludes by considering the ongoing mission of the Habsburg family, movements to reunite the peoples of the former empire, and the emperor's Cause for Canonization. I welcome this book which is sure to deepen interest in and devotion to Blessed Charles, one of the most misunderstood and neglected, yet truly great figures of history.
Delegate of the Emperor Karl League of Prayer in the United States
Charles A. Coulombe is one of North America’s most respected and sought-after commentators on culture, religion, history, and politics. A specialist in the history and government of the Catholic Church, Coulombe’s influence and expertise extend far beyond matters religious. He has written on topics ranging from the history of rum to haunted houses to a history of the United States.
Mr. Coulombe is a social and political commentator of note. In 2005 he provided narration and commentary for ABC News during the funeral of Pope John Paul II and the subsequent election and installation of Pope Benedict XVI. A former journalist, Mr. Coulombe served as a film reviewer and Contributing Editor of the National Catholic Register, during which time he received the Christian Law Institute's Christ King Journalism Award. Coulombe's work has appeared in over than 20 journals, including regular columns in Fidelity (Australia), PRAG (London), Monarchy Canada, and Creole Magazine (Louisiana). He has also been a frequent contributor to such publications as Success, Catholic Twin Circle, Gnosis, FATE, and the New Oxford Review.
As an informed and passionate speaker on a wide variety of religious, social, political, historical, and literary topics, Mr. Coulombe has appeared on lecture circuits throughout the North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. In 1992 he lectured at Oxford University and the following year embarked on a lecture tour of Ireland and Great Britain, returning to Oxford and Cambridge in 1995. Coulombe has also delivered lectures at the University of Southern California on the history of Rock & Roll and at Cleveland's John Carroll University on the history of medieval monarchy. In February 2011, he was invited to take part in a debate on the abolition of the monarchy before the prestigious Oxford Union.
This book is essential reading for the young Catholic man. Its subject, Blessed Charles of Austria, sets an example of leadership and piety that orients the reader to the true north of Jesus Christ, something that is desperately needed in an age where leaders such as Kaiser Karl are exceedingly rare, and faith in our public institutions is eroding due to their ineptitude. Charles Coulombe's book is a brisk read that details not only the life of the its subject, but also reaches into the notions of empire, the background of House Habsburg, the work of his wife and children after his death, and the League of Prayer, which carries the torch for Kaiser Karl's legacy. Now is the best time to study a great and holy leader, to find example for men to follow, at work, at home, and in their faith.
This book is a highly readable account of the life and importance of Blessed Charles of Austria. Not only readable, but informative and the best book available on Emperor Charles. The book is not only a page turner but also, in many ways, a spiritual book with the chapters beginning with liturgical texts and prayers. It is also an exciting historical book for the young and old showing true love, honor, courage, betrayals and perseverance. Read this book, learn more about this kingly and noble man and begin to ask him to pray for you and for our country!
I buy books, read them several at time slowly. I went through Blessed Karl of Austria in 3 days. It is packed with facts, history and yet reads like a novel. Holy Emperor used to walk the earth barely 100 years ago and Mr Coulombe makes a case for his sanctity proving his exceptional qualities as a monarch, soldier, husband, father. Must read!