The Saint of the First World War

Silas Henderson

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Blessed Charles of Austria, the last Austro-Hungarian emperor, died in exile aged 34 in 1922. This article reflects on how the?First World War had an impact on his life, as well as?his spirituality and humanitarian work after his deposition and exile. Silas Henderson is managing editor of Abbey Press Publications at St Meinrad Archabbey, Indiana.

As we mark the centennial of the First World War no one would question that the events of 1914-1918 were unparalleled in human history. It is estimated that more than nine million soldiers lost their lives during the First World War, and the political and cultural fallout from this war endures to the present day. Although the years following the war saw the establishment of the League of Nations and new maps that (theoretically, at least) more truly reflected the cultural and ethnic identities of the peoples of certain regions, we also witnessed the rise of Communism in Russia and other Eastern European countries, as well as the emergence of Nazism in Germany.

The Austro-Hungarian Empire and the First World War
Among the key players of the First World War were the Austro-Hungarian Empire and its emperors. Established under this name in 1867, the empire was a small vestige of what had once been the Holy Roman Empire.

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