Thursday, November 10, 2011

Baptist woman makes a new Catholic saint!

The tapestry hanging in the facade of St. Peter's shortly after Emperor Charles I of Austria was declared Blessed by Pope John Paul II, himself now a Blessed.

Quotes from Blessed Charles

"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 Savior has led me."
"Now, we must help each other to get to Heaven." Addressing Empress Zita on 22 October 1911, the day after their wedding.


Seriously, a Baptist woman prayed to Blessed Charles of Austria, the last Emperor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.  Not only was the cancer stricken woman, whom her doctors have given up hope, completely healed of her cancer, she shortly converted and went back home to the Catholic Church, according to other reports.

Here is an excerpt of the report:

The seemingly inexplicable healing of a Baptist woman from Florida may provide the miracle necessary for the canonization of Emperor Charles of Austria. The woman, in her mid-50s, suffered from breast cancer and was bedridden after the cancer had spread to her liver and bones. Despite treatment and hospitalization, doctors diagnosed her case as terminal. But after intercessory prayers to the Emperor Charles, the woman (who wishes to maintain her privacy and remain unnamed) was completely healed.
The story begins when Joseph and Paula Melançon, a married couple from Baton Rouge, Louisiana and friends of the healed woman, travelled to Austria, where they met Archduke Karl Peter, son of Archduke Rudolf, and grandson of the holy Emperor Charles. The Archduke invited the couple to his grandfather’s beatification in Rome in 2004. Mrs. Melançon gave the novena to Blessed Charles to her sister-in-law, Vanessa Lynn O’Neill of Atlanta.
“I knew that when I got that novena — I knew that my mother’s best friend was sick — I just knew at that moment that it was something I was going to do,” Mrs. O’Neill told the Florida Catholic in an interview. “And that is how I got started, I just prayed the novena.”
The woman’s recovery was investigated by an official church tribunal consisting of Father Fernando Gil (judicial vicar of the Diocese of Orlando), Father Gregory Parkes (chancellor of canonical affairs of the Diocese), Father Larry Lossing, diocesan notary Delma Santiago, as well as an unnamed medical doctor. The tribunal examined the evidence at hand and invited the participation of medical experts, who could find no earthly explanation for the woman’s recovery.
“Other alleged miracles attributed to the intercession of Blessed Karl I are currently being investigated in different places in the world,” Fr. Gil said.
The sixteen-month investigation has now concluded, and the conclusions have been signed by the participants, sealed, and placed in special boxes which are then themselves tied, sealed with wax, and sent to the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints in Rome via diplomatic pouch. The Congregation will examine the case further and then present its findings to Pope Benedict XVI, who will decided if a miracle has taken place. If the Pope is convinced by the evidence, then the Emperor’s canonization can proceed.

You can read more about the miracle here and here.  You can also read about the life of his equally saintly wife, Empress Zita by clicking here.  The page includes a photo of the Empress shortly after her death.

Some selected photos...

Blessed Emperor Charles and the Empress Zita, King and Queen of Hungary, bow their heads at an impromptu field Mass offered during the Emperor’s second heroic attempt to regain his throne from the traitorous regent Admiral Horthy in 1921

The Emperor after his death

Prayer for the Canonization of Blessed Charles of Austria
God our Father, through the gift of Blessed Emperor Karl You have given us an example to follow. In extremely difficult times he performed his burdensome tasks without ever losing his faith. He always followed Your Son, the true King.
He led a humble life, sincerely loving the poor and giving himself heart and soul to the search for peace. Even when his life was in danger he trusted in You, putting his life in Your hands.
Almighty and Merciful God, by the intercession of Blessed Emperor Karl, we pray that You may give us his unconditional faith to support us in our most difficult situations, and the courage to always follow the example of Your only Son.
Open our hearts to the poor, and strengthen our commitment for peace within our families and among all peoples.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Archdiocese of Vienna
May 18, 2004 Z1. K787/07 or K788/04
Vicar Apostolic Dr. Franz Schuster


Know more about the holy emperor by visiting the official site of the Cause for his Canonization.  The site is very extensive and includes photos of the Emperor and the Beatification Rites.  Reading about his life and how his faith influences how he conducted himself as a monarch, and after he was forced to leave his country and the monarchy is really inspiring. A truly Catholic King!

All Hail Karl!

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