[To be prayed at the beginning of each day of the novena.]
Heavenly Father, through Blessed Emperor Karl You have given Your Church and the people of God an example of how we can live a discerning and spiritual life in a convincing and courageous way.
His public actions as emperor and king, and his personal acts as a family man, were firmly based in the teachings of the Catholic Faith. His love for his Eucharistic Lord grew in times of trial, and helped him to unite himself to Christ’s sacrifice through his own life’s sacrifice for his peoples. Emperor Karl honored the Mother of God, and loved to pray the rosary throughout his life.
Strengthen us by his intercession when discouragement, faintheartedness, loneliness, bitterness and depression trouble us. Let us follow the example of Your faithful servant, and unselfishly serve our brothers and sisters according to Your will.
Hear my petitions and grant my request [mention your intention here].
Grant that Blessed Karl of Austria be deemed worthy of canonization, for the glory of Your Name, the praise of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and for blessings upon the Church.
An Emperor Devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
“Jesus, gentle and humble of heart, form our hearts to be like Your Heart.”
On October 2, 1918, Blessed Karl consecrated himself and his family to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Through his suffering from being misjudged, slandered, and persecuted, his willingness to sacrifice his life for his peoples, his exile, and through his painful, fatal illness, Emperor Karl allowed his heart to be formed in union with the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Even in exile and sickness the Emperor took to heart his duties as monarch and father to his peoples very seriously. Because of his illness the Empress Zita read newspapers to him, but she felt that the articles worked him up and made him worry too much. She urged him not to ask her to read to him because it was not good for his health, but Emperor Karl replied: “It is my duty to be informed, not my pleasure. Please, read!”
His devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus strengthened the Emperor during his painful, last illness. On his deathbed he said to the Countess Mensdorff: “It is so good to have faith in the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Without it, the hardships would be impossible to withstand.”
Blessed Karl kept an image of the Sacred Heart under his pillow throughout his life, and during his fatal illness. Once when Empress Zita wanted him to get some much-needed rest, she brought the picture out from under the pillow and held it before the Emperor’s eyes. She said that it was absolutely necessary for him to sleep, and that he should ask the Lord for it. He gazed at the image and urgently, yet devoutly, said: “Dearest Savior, please, grant me sleep.” He was then able to fall asleep and rested for three, much-needed hours.
My Lord and God, according to the marvelous example of Your servant, Emperor Karl, I too wish to consecrate myself to Your Most Sacred Heart. Hear my petitions and grant my request [mention your intention here] through the intercession of Blessed Emperor Karl of Austria.
[Hail Mary. Our Father. Glory Be.]
[To be prayed at the conclusion of each day of the novena.]
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.
Sorry so late on this. Its been a pretty busy day.