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Blessed Charles of Austria icon

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Blessed Charles of Austria icon
© Cecilia Lawrence
April 17th, 2019
4.5 x 6 inches
Ink, watercolor, gold leaf
About 9 hours


“My entire endeavor has always been to clearly recognize the Will of God in all things and to follow it as completely as possible.”
~ Blessed Charles of Austria

“Emperor Karl is the only decent man to come out of the war in a leadership position, yet he was a saint and no one listened to him. He sincerely wanted peace, and therefore was despised by the whole world. It was a wonderful chance that was lost.”
~ Anatole France

“Karl was a great leader, a prince of peace, who wanted to save the world from a year of war; a statesman with ideas to save his people from the complicated problems of his empire; a king who loved his people, a fearless man, a noble soul, distinguished, a saint from whose grave blessings come.”
~ Herbert Vivian

:iconbeigerose1plz::iconbeigerose2plz::iconbeigerose3plz::iconrose1plz::iconbeigerose4plz::iconbeigerose5plz::iconbeigerose6plz:

A client entering the Catholic Church this past Easter commissioned me to make an icon of his baptismal patron, Blessed Karl (or “Charles” which is the name he took for his baptism and is the version he wanted for this icon) of Austria. I have depicted him wearing the coronation regalia of the Austro-Hungarian Empire: the coronation mantle of St. Stephen, the crown of St. Stephen of Hungary, the scepter, and the globus cruciger (the “cross-bearing orb”) surmounted by the two-barred Hungarian cross.  I referenced the photos from his coronation as for my icon, especially this one and these photos of him and his wife Empress Zita and son Archduke Otto. 

:+: A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY OF THE BLESSED :+:

Blessed Charles of Austria (August 17th 1887 – April 1st 1922 A.D.), also known as Emperor Karl I of Austria was born on August 17th 1887 in Persenbeug Castle in Lower Austria. His full name was Karl Franz Joseph Ludwig Hubert Georg Otto Maria and his parents were Archduke Otto Franz of Austria and Princess Maria Josepha of Saxony. His mother was a deeply pious Catholic woman, but she did not enjoy a happy marriage with her husband Archduke Otto (also known as “Otto der Schöne” or, Otto the Handsome) because he was a notorious womanizer. He was frequently away and this left his wife to find comfort in raising her two sons Charles and Maximilian, whom she brought up carefully in the Faith. Charles grew up with a great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and the Blessed Mother. The children spent their early years in various towns near wherever their father’s regiment was stationed. As was typical for the imperial royalty, they were privately educated by the best tutors, and given an excellent Catholic education, but later on Charles was also sent to a public gymnasium to study the sciences.

When Charles was only a young boy, his family was stationed in Sopron, Hungary, near an Ursuline convent. A nun there named Mother Vincentia Fauland was a mystic and stigmatist and was revered and respected for her great wisdom and holiness by those who knew her. She prophesied that Charles would eventually become Emperor of Austria (in spite of the seemingly unlikeliness of his succession) and that he would suffer greatly and be a special target of Hell. Her prophecy inspired a number of people to form a special prayer group especially dedicated to praying for Charles. This group later came to be known (after Charles’ death) as the “League of Prayer of the Emperor Charles for the Peace of the Peoples.”

Charles’ granduncle, Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria, had been ruling over the Austro-Hungarian Empire since 1848. When Charles was two years old, the Emperor’s son, the 30-year old heir-apparent Rudolf, committed a joint murder-suicide along with his 17-year old mistress Baroness Marie Vetsera. This shifted the line of succession over to the Emperor’s brother, Archduke Karl Ludwig. When Karl Ludwig died of typhoid in 1896, his son, Archduke Franz Ferdinand (and Charles’ uncle), was declared the new heir presumptive. Because Archduke Franz Ferdinand married Countess Sophie Chotek (a woman the Emperor considered below his nephew’s station), their children were excluded from the line of succession. This later had important ramifications for the course of Charles’ life.

After Charles finished his studies at the public gymnasium, he entered the Austro-Hungarian Army as an officer and was stationed in Prague from 1906 to 1908 where he also studied law and political science alongside his military duties. When he became of age in 1907 at the age of twenty, he continued to carry out his military duties as a dragoon in Bohemia. While he was stationed at the town of Brandýs nad Labem (Brandýs on the Elbe) in Bohemia, he took to visiting his aunt in Františkovy Lázně (Franzensbad). While there, he became reacquainted with Princess Zita of Bourbon-Parma, to whom he grew very attached. They had met before briefly as children, but had not known each other well before. Zita later wrote:
“We were of course glad to meet again and became close friends. On my side feelings developed gradually over the next two years. He seemed to have made his mind up much more quickly, however, and became even more keen when, in the autumn of 1910, rumors spread about that I had got engaged to a distant Spanish relative, Jaime, Duke of Madrid. On hearing this, the Archduke came down post haste from his regiment at Brandeis and sought out his [step]grandmother, Archduchess Maria Theresa, who was also my aunt and the natural confidante in such matters. He asked if the rumor was true and when told it was not, he replied, “Well, I had better hurry in any case or she will get engaged to someone else.”

Zita was warm, extroverted and charming, complementing Charles’ own quiet, introspective temperament. Zita was a devout Catholic and also (to the relief of Emperor Franz Joseph) of high royal lineage. The two fell in love, and Charles travelled to Italy to her birthplace at the Villa Pianore and asked for Zita’s hand in marriage. He proposed to her in front of the Blessed Sacrament at the Marian Shrine of Mariazell. Their engagement was announced to the Austrian court on June 13th 1911. They were married a few months later on October 21st 1911. After their wedding, Charles turned to Zita and said, “Now let’s help each other get into Heaven.” They had engraved the Latin words “Sub tuum praesidium confugimus, sancta Dei Genitrix” (“We fly to Thy protection, O Holy Mother of God”) on the inside of their wedding rings, and later visited a Marian shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Austria where they prayed for Mary’s intercession before beginning their honeymoon. A little more than a year later, Zita gave birth to a son named Otto on November 20th 1912. They later had seven more children: Adelheid (1914), Robert (1915), Felix (1916), Carl Ludwig (1918), Rudolf (1919), Charlotte (1921), and Elisabeth (1922).

Charles was a devoted father who cherished and doted on all of his children. He personally taught them their prayers ad the catechism. The family prayer together frequently and after Otto’s First Communion Charles consecrated his whole family to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. He loved to read to his children and often took them hiking, boating, fishing and enjoyed other outdoor activities with them.

Charles and Zita’s happy lives changed drastically when Charles’ uncle Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated by Gavrilo Princip, a member of a Serbian secret society called the Black Hand. Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie were both killed on June 28th 1914 while he was inspecting the army in Sarajevo. He had been in favor of making peace with Serbian dissidents by making a third “Slavic” crown to the Empire so that the Slavic peoples would have more say in the government of the Empire. The Black Hand was a radical Serbian group that wanted to create a separate Slavic kingdom and the Archduke and his reforms were perceived as a threat to those plans. After the assassins were arrested, a criminal investigation was launched to discover who was responsible for the assassinations. The Austro-Hungarian government issued a formal letter to the Kingdom of Serbia (later known as the July Ultimatum) asking for the removal of Serbian military personnel who advocated for terrorist actions against the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the dissolution of an violent Serbian nationalist organization that fought for the same, along with the suppression of propaganda that was rampant in Serbia that actively fermented terrorism against Austria-Hungary. Some other demands included that Serbia arrest those involved in the assassination plot, including those who helped to smuggle weapons to the assassins. The Austro-Hungarians stated that if these demands were not accepted in two days, they would withdraw their ambassador from Serbia.

Once the Serbians had received a confirmation of support from Russia, they replied to some of the demands by accepting some partially, ignoring others, and rejecting the rest. Austria-Hungry then officially broke off diplomatic relations. The next day, some Serbian soldiers crossed over to the Austro-Hungarian side of the Danube. The Austro-Hungarian soldiers fired in the air to warn them off, but initially no one knew what had happened, and it was thought that they Serbs had invaded. Austria-Hungary then declared war and mobilized its army to face the already mobilized Serbian Army on July 28th 1914. The Franco-Russian Treaty of 1892 obliged Russia and France to step in and help their allies. Russia mobilized its army on July 30th. Once Russia had mobilized, Germany mobilized its own forces and declared war on Russia, France, and Belgium simultaneously, the latter of which brought Britain into the war. Within a matter of days, World War I had broken out across Europe.

After the assassination of the Archduke, and with Charles as the new heir, the elderly Emperor quickly took steps to give Charles a good political education and introduce him more thoroughly to the affairs of state. After the outbreak of World War I, Charles spent most of his time at the military headquarters at Cieszyn (Teschen), in modern-day Poland. He was promoted to Field Marshal and given command of the XX Corps in Italy. He was beloved by his men for his personal warmth and friendliness. He was later recalled to command the army at the eastern front fighting against the Russians and Romanians. As such, he was one of the few leaders in World War I to personally witness the atrocities and deprivations of war first-hand.

After his grand uncle Emperor Franz Joseph died in November of 1916 (two years into the war), Charles was made Supreme Commander of the whole Austro-Hungarian Army and was crowned Emperor of Austria and Apostolic King of Hungary on December 30th 1916 in Budapest. On his ascension to the throne, he declared that as King and Emperor peace was his central goal. He took his duties as Emperor seriously and sought to alleviate his suffering people any way he could. He commuted death sentences, organized soup kitchens, fought against corruption, gave away most of his own personal property to alleviate suffering and used palace resources to distribute coal, food, and other necessities to his people. He also initiated broad social legislation, including the creation of the first social ministry to oversee disabled veterans, housing, emigration protection, rent control, the protection of children and young people, laws governing industrial practices, employee welfare, social insurance, and securing the rights of families. Nor did the new Emperor neglect his own family; Zita shared his most intimate confidence and Charles opened up to her about all of his troubles and worries. Although he was frequently separated from his family, he had a special telephone line installed from his military headquarters so that he could call her throughout the day to check up on her and the children. Zita would also travel with her husband and help him in his social reforms and shared his concerns for the welfare of the nation’s citizens. Charles was also personally charitable, and as Emperor when he told an aide to distribute some alms to needy citizens, the aide replied that there was no more money, and Charles replied to him, “The need is so great, find the money from somewhere else and distribute that.”

During the war, he visited his soldiers up at the front to comfort them at great personal risk. He visited wounded soldiers in hospitals and would show up unexpectedly at the front lines so that his soldiers jokingly called him “Karl-the-Sudden.” He inspired his soldiers by his own personal courage and valor, and was loved by them because of his mercy and leniency. He tried to prevent bombings of civilian populations, abolished harsh military punishments, restricted the use of mustard gas and relaxed or entirely abolished charges of insulting the Royal Family or charges of high treason. He was well loved by his people, and his subjects affectionately named called him, “the People’s Emperor.”

Austria-Hungary suffered terribly during the war. About 1.5 million Austro-Hungarian soldiers died during the conflict, and another 500,000 civilians died from disease, improper medical care, and a lack of nutrition brought on in large part because of an Allied food blockade. Deeply distressed at the enormous scale of human misery throughout his nation, Emperor Charles sought peace at any cost. He was one of the few leaders who listened to Pope Benedict XV, who called the Great War “the suicide of Europe.” The Pope tried to mediate peace, but most countries were concerned only with “total victory” and dismissed the Pope’s efforts. Soon after his coronation, Emperor Charles tried to enter into secret peace negotiations with the French through his brother-in-law, Prince Sixtus of Bourbon-Parma, who was an officer in the Belgian Army (on the Allied side). But as the French insisted—among other sweeping concessions—that Italy’s territorial claims be recognized by Austria, Charles had to refuse. The Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister Graf Czernin wanted only to negotiate a general peace that would include Germany as well. But as Germany’s own politicians seemed bent on war and absolute victory, Charles was willing to negotiate a peace without them by withdrawing his own country from the war and breaking up the tangle of alliances that had ensnared Europe in war in the first place. He hoped that by brokering a peace deal, he could lead Germany out of the war as well, saying, “Hoping that in this way we shall soon be able, on both sides, to put an end to the suffering of so many millions of men and of so many families that live in sorrow and anxiety.” The confidentiality of these plans were ruined when the new French leadership argued with the Austrian Foreign Minister in April of 1918. Because of this, the plan was undermined disastrously, with Germany feeling betrayed and the threat of possible German occupation of Austro-Hungary becoming a very real threat.

In the meantime, the Austria-Hungary was breaking into pieces because of the pent-up tensions between the various ethnic groups that made up the Empire. In response to this crisis, Emperor Charles had the Imperial Parliament reconvene to allow for the self-governance of different regions within the Empire. On October 14th 1918, he wrote to the people asking them to be a part of the restructuring of the Empire:
“To My faithful Austrian peoples! Since I ascended the throne, I have constantly endeavored to achieve for all my peoples the peace they long for and to show to the peoples of Austria the paths along which they may, unhindered by obstacles and conflict, bring their powerful national identities to richly beneficial fruition. The terrible struggle of the world war has hitherto impeded the work of peace. (...) In accordance with the will of its peoples, Austria is to become a federal state in which each nationality shall form its own polity on the territory on which it lives. (...) This reshaping, which shall in no way affect the integrity of the lands of the holy Hungarian crown, is intended to give each individual national state its independence.”

The Empire was to be restructured on ethnic lines: the Poles were given full independence, and the rest of Austro-Hungary was divided into four regions of Germans, Czech, Slavs, and Ukrainians and all would be part of the federal union of Austro-Hungary. However, on October 18th United States Secretary of State Robert Lansing informed Charles that the Allies were backing the Czechs, Slovaks and Slavs. The Czech government and the Slavic national council declared independence about ten days later. On October 31st, Hungary ended its union with Austria. The former unity of the Empire crumbled, and all that was left to Charles of his former realm was parts of Austria, and even there his rule was challenged.

When the fighting finally ended with the Armistice of November 11th 1918, Charles  issued a formal proclamation in which he wrote:
“Since I came to the throne I have ceaselessly strived to lead my people out of the horrors of war, for whose outbreak I bear no blame. I have not hesitated to rebuild the constitutional life and have opened the way for the people to develop their own national identity. Now as before filled with unwavering love for all my people, I do not wish to be a barrier to the freedom of their development. I acknowledge in advance the decision that Germany-Austria is making about its future system of government. The people have through their representatives taken over the government. I hereby renounce any part in state affairs. At the same time I relieve my Austrian government of its office. May the people of Germany-Austria create and consolidate the reorganization in the spirit of harmony and forgiveness. The happiness of my people was my most cherished goal from the beginning. Only inner peace can heal the wounds of this war.”

He released his officials of their oaths of loyalty to him and moved his family to Castle Eckartsau, east of Vienna. He then issued a similar proclamation (called the Eckartsau Proclamation) to the Hungarians two days later. He did not, however, abdicate the throne, as he was still the rightful Emperor and felt it was his duty to remain such, in case the people of Austro-Hungary ever recalled him. His cabinet tried to persuade him to abdicate, but he only replied, “My crown is a sacred trust given to me by God. I can never forsake that trust or my people.”

On April 3rd 1919, the Austrian Parliament passed the Habsburg Law, which expelled all members of the imperial family from ever entering Austria again and seized all of their property and assets. Charles and his family were banished from their country and went into exile in Switzerland. In 1920, the Hungarian Parliament elected Miklós Horthy as Regent, since the Allies would not recognize the return of Charles to the throne. Many Hungarians supported his return to the throne however, and Charles began receiving many pleas for his return. He was also assured that many of Europe’s aristocratic families would support him, so on March 26th 1921, he entered Hungary to meet with his supporters and went to meet Horthy. Charles thanked him for his service as regent, but insisted that now he hand over the rightful powers of government to him, in accordance with the loyalty and oath of obedience that he had sworn while Charles had been King of Hungary. Horthy demurred and the two spent an emotional two hours arguing back and forth. They agreed on a three week truce, in which Horthy thought Charles would leave, and in which Charles thought Horthy would help him to secure the throne. Instead, however, envoys from Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia threatened war if Charles would return to the throne and reinstate the Hapsburgs. The army remained loyal to Horthy, so Charles left Hungary by train with the knowledge that Horthy had betrayed him and planned to keep the throne for himself.

Over the summer of 1921, many supporters of Charles began making preparations for his return, both in the government and among the people. By October 23rd, Charles was informed that he could march on Budapest with the popular acclaim of the people. He did so, and with the realization that he would have no help from Horthy, he formed his own provisional government. He began his march on Budapest with the support of much of the army who believed that he had been called back to Hungary by Horthy. Horthy reacted by lying to the people of Budapest by saying that Charles would subject the nation to a position of inferiority. He then recruited about 500 students from the University of Budapest to help bolster the garrison. The Czechoslovak, Yugoslav and Romanian ministers declared again that Charles’ return would be a declaration of war, and they mobilized their armies to invade Hungary. To stave off this invasion, Horthy spurred his rag-tag group to attack Charles’ army to drive him away. A few people on both sides were killed and this shook the confidence of the loyalist troops who thought that their re-entry would be bloodless. When Charles realized that marching to Budapest might cause a bloody civil war, he agreed to surrender, saying, “The return of my crown is not worth the spilling of innocent Hungarian blood.” Many tried to persuade him to abdicate, which would have enabled him to live a life of relative ease and luxury, but he refused: “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.”

Charles was taken prisoner and confined at Tihany Abbey before they were forced to board the HMS Glowworm on November 1st 1921 and taken into exile. The imperial family arrived at the remote Portuguese island of Madeira on November 19th 1921. Isolated in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and in rather impoverished conditions, the imperial family spent a cold winter there. On March 9th 1922, Charles took Otto and Adelheid with him to the town of Funchal to buy a birthday present for their little brother Karl-Ludwig. It was a chilly day and he caught a cold and developed a bad cough and a few days later had a fever. Some of his other children had also gotten sick, and his wife Zita—who was then about eight months pregnant—looked after all of them. They were so poor that they couldn’t pay for a doctor, but Charles’ condition quickly worsened into his illness developed into bronchitis. Doctors were finally summoned but all of their treatments were both painful and ineffectual. Zita was by his side the whole time, praying with him, soothing him and holding him. He prayed for his family and also for beloved people, whom he never forgot, saying, “I must suffer like this so that my peoples can come together again.”

Soon it became clear that he was dying. He whispered to Zita, “I love you unceasingly.”  He prayed, “Jesus, I live for You, for You I die, dear Jesus come.” He requested Holy Communion and a priest came and gave him viaticum and anointed him. He called his eldest son Otto to his side and said, “I want him to see how a Catholic and an Emperor dies.” He continued to pray as he lay dying, whispering, “I can’t go on much longer…Thy Holy Will be done. Jesus, Jesus, come! Yes, yes. My Jesus, as You will it…Jesus.” He died on Saturday, April 1st 1922 at the age of thirty-four.

He was buried in a chapel in the Church of Our Lady of The Hill (Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Monte) in Madeira. His heart was later removed and buried alongside his wife Zita in Muri Abbey, Switzerland. When his tomb was opened in 1972 his body was found to be incorrupt. Charles of Austria was beatified on October 3rd 2004 by Pope St. John Paul II.

:iconbeigerose1plz::iconbeigerose2plz::iconbeigerose3plz::iconrose1plz::iconbeigerose4plz::iconbeigerose5plz::iconbeigerose6plz:
Verbum Domini manet in aeternum - The Word of the Lord will endure for ever". The Gospel acclamation takes us back to the very roots of the Faith. As we face the passing of time and the continuous upheavals of history, the revelation that God offered us in Christ endures forever and opens horizons of eternity to us on our earthly journey…

The decisive task of Christians consists in seeking, recognizing and following God's will in all things. The Christian Statesman, Charles of Austria, confronted this challenge every day. To his eyes, war appeared as "something appalling". Amid the tumult of the First World War, he strove to promote the peace initiative of my Predecessor, [Pope] Benedict XV.

From the beginning, the Emperor Charles conceived of his office as a holy service to his people. His chief concern was to follow the Christian vocation to holiness also in his political actions. For this reason, his thoughts turned to social assistance. May he be an example for all of us, especially for those who have political responsibilities in Europe today!

Let us praise and thank the Lord with the entire Church for the marvels he has worked through these good and faithful servants of the Gospel. May Mary Most Holy, who in this month of October we invoke in a special way with the prayer of the Rosary, help us to become in turn generous and courageous apostles of the Gospel. Amen!”

~ From the Beatification Homily of Blessed Charles of Austria
by Pope St. John Paul II, Sunday October 3rd 2004

:iconbeigerose1plz::iconbeigerose2plz::iconbeigerose3plz::iconrose1plz::iconbeigerose4plz::iconbeigerose5plz::iconbeigerose6plz:

:rose: The Feast of Blessed Charles of Austria is celebrated on October 21st. :rose:

O God, through the adversities of this world
You led Blessed Karl from this earthly realm
to the crown reserved for him in Heaven.
Grant through his intercession
that we may so serve Your Son and our brothers and sisters
that we may become worthy of eternal life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
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Comments42
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mokiean's avatar

Beautiful artwork! I always love you drawing saintly/holy men and women :D


I only know so little of him but reading your desc about him.... I want to cry, its like a tragic yet beautiful book :cries: hopefully I will read up on him more soon.


“Now let’s help each other get into Heaven.” and “Jesus, I live for You, for You I die, dear Jesus come.” hit me in the feels...wish my future husband was as chadly as him, no, I wish every man would take him as one of the greatest examples for catholic manhood. Strong yet Kind, takes one for the team, Just like our Lord and Savior ^^

Theophilia's avatar

Amen! I didn't know anything about him before I was commissioned to work on this icon. His story is so powerful and moving; I hope he is canonized soon so many more people can learn about him and take him as a model and friend. :nod:

FVanPersier1998's avatar

Gorgeous picture with eastern design. Blessed Charles of Austria, ora pro nobis

Theophilia's avatar

Wow, just wow


I found your art on Pinterest and have been enamored with it since.


your art is the reason I am on Deviant Art.


wonderful depiction of Blessed Karl and I love your Blessed Mother art as well.


Ave Maria!

Theophilia's avatar

Thank you so much!!!

Such a sad story, he gave almost everything for his people and peace but didn't even get one small single kingdom as a consolation prize for his hard work. I partly blame Admiral Horthy but to be honest I think Karl was as well to some degree. While I know he probably had good reason but if he have agreed to Italy's demands he might have had more success in the long run. And when it became more obvious he wouldn't get his kingdom back, the former Emperor-King should have abducted for his family's sake (I am aware of Otto's successful political career, by the way.)


Still he really was a saint. The only Central Power leader to truly see where the war was going for them before it was too late.

Theophilia's avatar
In terms of Italy's demands, I think the issue was that even though he was Emperor, to him the job was one as a trustee, and not as an owner, so he felt he didn't have the authority to give the territory to Italy. 

And he did eventually abdicate, after trying the political waters to see if the people wanted him back as King. Since there was not enough support, he chose to save lives by not making a fight out of it to regain the throne.

Not to mention if he DID try to retake the crown by force, it would put Hungary in another war. One it had no chance of winning. I forgot to mention that above.

Hello,


I became aware of this piece from Reddit user Karlist1918 through a subreddit devoted to a video game where Karl lives and remains the head of the Austria Hungarian empire into the 1930's in an alternative history where Germany won WWI.


Two things, first I would like to make a very minor submod for the game where the picture they have for Kaiser Karl is replaced with your piece. It would mostly be just an enthusiasm project for people who like the art. There is a meme culture in the game we play and memes about Karl being blessed are popular. Karlist1918 suggested I first get your permission (which makes sense).


Second; I was wondering if it would be possible to commission a piece. The art of the movie The Secret of Kells is especially powerful to me and you're the first artist I've seen that seems to be doing things in that style. I was wondering if I could hire you to make a piece in that style depicting my favorite Bible verse Ezekiel 36:26. I'm just a public school teacher and so am not rolling in the money but have lots of artist friends and believe artists deserve compensation.


The best way to communicate would probably be my email ezk3626@gmail.com

Theophilia's avatar
1.) Absolutely, that's totally fine, I'd have no problem with that. :)

2.) Sure! I'll send you an e-mail about that as well!
JeffCDM's avatar
Definitely my favorite of all my icons :D , you did a great job. 

I'm looking at it right now on my desk here at college. 
Theophilia's avatar
Why thank you! I'm very glad you like it! :aww: I was very moved by his story when I was researching his life. What a magnificent human being he was. I really appreciated the opportunity I had of making an icon of him. :aww: 
Emilion-3's avatar
Keeping doing it.
MatejCadil's avatar
Wonderful! I entered the Catholic church seven years ago and I chose blessed Karl as my patron saint too! :heart: He has been a great inspiration for me as a husband and a father and I highly admire him as a statesman and faithful Catholic monarch. It is a great blessing that the last king of my country is a saint.

Indeed pope Saint Pius X said prophetically to Empress Zita, when she went to Rome for a blessing on her upcoming marriage: “I bless Archduke Charles, who will be the future Emperor of Austria and will help lead his countries and peoples to great honor and many blessings — but this will not become obvious until after his death.”

By the way, Zita's cause of beatification is underway as well. And another interesting fact is that for the feast day of Blessed Karl was not chosen the day of his death abut the day of his wedding – 21 October – which emphasizes the great importance of marriage and family in his life and it suggests that when Zita is beatified, they might have the feast day together.
Theophilia's avatar
Thank you!! :meow:

I didn't know much about him until I undertook this commission; he was truly a great man in every sense of the word. I hope Zita is beatified soon too. It'd be great to have another married couple raised to the honor of the altar. :D
MatejCadil's avatar
Theophilia's avatar
RealGilbertGan's avatar
No problem. And to quote for the people of Austria:
"Gott erhalter Kaiser Karl von Habsburg (God Bless Emperor Charles von Habsburg)".
Libra1010's avatar
 Poor man - honestly, the last generation of Reigning Habsburgs seem to have suffered under the most appallingly efficient curse; the list of misfortunes required to put the Emperor Charles next to the throne after His Imperial & Royal Majesty Franz Josef makes for quite chilling reading.:o (Eek)

 Though at least the House of Habsburg didn't suffer the fate of House Romanov!  
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