19 February 2008

Second Miracle of Blessed Karl I of Austria

This article reports the miraculous healing of a woman with breast cancer. Interestingly enough, she was (and is) a Baptist who was on the verge of death when she received a prayer card of Blessed Karl from a friend. She began praying to him, and her cancer was soon healed.
A judicial tribunal convened by the Diocese of Orlando and officially concluded Thursday has found that there is no medical explanation for the woman's dramatic recovery, and more than half a dozen doctors in two states -- most of them non-Catholics -- agreed.
From John Zmirak's Bad Catholics' Guide to Good Living:
Karl is known for abolishing flogging, dueling, and other abuses in the army he briefly commanded, restricting the use of poison gas and civilian bombing, and attempting to decentralize power among the ethnic groups of his polyglot monarchy, which he came to rule in 1917. Karl insisted on eating the same rations as an ordinary civilian—refusing even white bread, which he handed out to his troops. His court photographer reported seeing the newly-crowned emperor visiting a battlefield full of corpses—and collapsing into tears. Karl murmured, audibly: “No man can any longer answer to God for this. As soon as possible I shall put a stop to it.”

Almost immediately, Karl began attempts to negotiate a “peace without recriminations” to end the criminal slaughter of World War I. He was the only sovereign in Europe to attempt such a peace. Had he succeeded, the world might never have witnessed a Bolshevik or Nazi regime, a Holocaust, a Ukrainian famine, a Dresden or a Hiroshima.

Karl’s clarity and charity, alas, were no match for the war parties that ruled in London and Berlin, Paris and Washington, from 1914-1918. President Woodrow Wilson insisted personally on the dismemberment of the Austrian monarchy. Fighting dragged on another fateful year—giving Lenin the chance to seize power in Russia—before it ended with the collapse of Germany and Austria. The victors’ peace imposed by the Allies sowed the bitterness which would someday bring the Nazis to prominence. The weak republics carved out of Austria’s corpse would all, one day, fall first to Hitler’s armies—and then to Stalin’s. So went this world “made safe for democracy.”

Exiled on the wintry island of Funchal with his young family, Karl soon succumbed to disease, and died while still a young man. The night before he passed, he whispered to his wife Zita: “All my aspiration has ever been to know as clearly as possible the will of God in all things and to follow it, and precisely in the most perfect manner.” By the Church’s infallible judgment, he succeeded.
Blessed Karl of Austria, ora pro nobis!
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