Sunday, November 6, 2016

Pope Francis Meets 300 Habsburgs

All photos: L'Osservatore Romano

Archduchess Marie-Astrid, older sister of the Grand Duke, and her husband Archduke Carl-Christian were among some 300 members of the Habsburg family who were received in audience by Pope Francis yesterday. They were most likely accompanied by their children though there are only pictures of their son-in-law Count Rodolphe de Limburg-Stirum and grandson Count Constantin; Archduke Imre and Archduchess Kathleen with their daughters Maria-Stella and Magdalena; as well as their daughter-in-law Archduchess Adélaïde and their granddaughter Katarina thus far.
The Habsburgs made a family pilgrimage to the Vatican on the occasion of the Jubilee of Mercy. “In this happy circumstance, you also remember in a special way Blessed Charles of Austria, who precisely one hundred years ago acceded to the throne. His spiritual presence in your midst ensures that the Habsburg family today does not turn to the past in a nostalgic manner but, on the contrary, is actively present in the current moment, with its challenges and its needs. Indeed, some of you hold prominent roles in organisations of solidarity and human and cultural development; as well as in support of the project of Europe as a common home founded on human and Christian values”, the Pope said. 
“Charles of Austria was first and foremost a good family father, and as such, a servant of life and peace”, he continued speaking about the last ruler of the Austro-Hungarian empire who was beatified in 2004. “He had known war, having served as a simple soldier at the beginning of the First World War. Assuming his reign in 1916, and sensitive to the voice of Pope Benedict XV, he did his utmost to promote peace, at the cost of being misunderstood and ridiculed. In this too he offers us an example, more relevant than ever, and we can invoke him as an intercessor to obtain from God peace for humanity”.

More pictures by the Vatican press agency here.

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