January 4, 2024
On December 30, 1916, in the Coronation Cathedral of Buda, Charles IV, the then Austrian Emperor and Hungarian King, was ceremoniously crowned, which temporarily distracted the focus from the horrors of World War I. In the days leading up to the event, an unknown perpetrator nearly cut the wires holding the heavy chandeliers above the place of the coronation ceremony, but thanks to the actions of mechanical engineer László Bánó, a tragedy was averted. The coronation proceeded smoothly, and in the history of Hungarian coronations it was the first time the Hungarian national anthem was heard instead of the imperial anthem.
107 years later, on December 30, 2023, many gathered for the memorial mass of Blessed Charles IV, initiated by Vitéz Ádám Berniczei-Roykó, the Deputy Captain General of the Order of Vitéz, and his wife Ágnes for the purpose of establishing a tradition. The Latin mass was celebrated by priests László Süllei and Vitéz Zsolt Szerencsés, with the participation of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and the Order of the Holy Sepulchre. Among the attendees were private individuals such as György Bakondi, the Prime Minister’s chief security advisor, along with numerous members and officials of the Order of Vitéz. Besides Captain General Josef Karl von Habsburg-Lothringen, the organizers included Vitéz Marquise Zita Pallavicini, Vitéz Countess Margit Batthyány-Schmidt, Vitéz Lóránd Baron Riedel, Vitéz László Kóczy, and Vitéz Imre Vejkey staff captains. Represented were the Hungarian Parliamentary Prayer Group Foundation, the Otto von Habsburg Foundation, the Hungarian Paneuropean Union, the Hungarian Batthyány Foundation, the Andrássy Salon Foundation, and the Hungarian Association of Historical Families.
Countess Pallavicini Zita stated: “In today’s challenging world, when we live in uncertain times, strength can be drawn from the exemplary life of Charles IV. He was courageous, and despite facing a difficult political situation, his faith, perseverance, love, and his marvellous marriage to Zita of Bourbon-Parma… these can definitely provide strength even today. Past role models offer hope.”
Charles IV sought to end World War I through a peace treaty and prohibited attacks against civilians. He generously contributed to the welfare of the poor from his own wealth and established the world’s first social ministry. In exile, he faced life’s challenges with his wife and children, praying for unity before his death.
From now on, every December 30th, we can remember him during the festive masses at Matthias Church.
An excellent article was published in Magyar Nemzet, entitled “Utolsó királyunk emlékmiséje a Mátyás-templomban” from the pen of our Historian Staff Captain Vitéz Attila Bánó de Kükemeze et Tapolylucska. The article can be viewed at the following link:
On the website of Euronews Nóra Shenouda’s article can be found on the subject.