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Pope’s Address to Habsburg Family

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Pope’s Address to Habsburg Family

Below is a ZENIT translation of the address Pope Francis gave 300 members of Austria’s Habsburg family, when he received them in the Vatican on Saturday as they make a family pilgrimage to Rome, on the occasion of the Jubilee of Mercy.:


Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am happy to receive you on the occasion of the Jubilee pilgrimage, which you wished to carry out as a family. I wish to stress this aspect because the family, in a broad sense, with the richness of its bonds and of its variety, is a value to be rediscovered in our time.

In this happy circumstance, you are remembering especially Blessed Karl of Austria, who in fact one hundred years ago or so ascended the throne. May his spiritual presence in your midst be such that the Habsburg family does not turn today to the past nostalgically but, on the contrary, is actively present in today”€™s history with its challenges and needs. In fact, some of you play leading roles in organizations of solidarity and human and cultural promotion, as well as in supporting the European project as a common home founded on human and Christian values.

I also learned with joy that in the new generation of your family some vocations to the priesthood and to consecrated life have matured. I give thanks with you to the Lord and it gives further proof of the fact that the Christian family is the first terrain in which the seeds of vocations “€“ beginning in fact with the conjugal, which is a true and proper vocation! “€“ can sprout and develop.

Karl of Austria was first of all a good family man, and as such a servant of life and of peace. He had known war, having been a simple soldier at the beginning of World War I. He assumed the kingdom in 1916 and, sensitive to the voice of Pope Benedict XV, he spent himself with all his strength for peace, at the cost of being misunderstood and derided. In this also he gives us an ever more timely example, and we can invoke him as intercessor to obtain from God peace for humanity.

I thank you from my heart for your visit and I assure you that I will accompany your family”€™s path with my prayer. And you too, please, do not forget to pray for me. Thank you!


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