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Vatican set to beatify emperor
BBC ^ | Sunday, 21 December, 2003, 00:20 GMT | BBC

Posted on 12/21/2003 1:07:42 PM PST by Jake_the_Snake_Roberts

Vatican set to beatify emperor

The Pope recognised Charles I's "heroic virtues" last year Pope John Paul II is to beatify the last emperor of the Austro-Hungarian empire, Charles I, after recognising a miracle attributed to him. The Vatican gave no details, but the miracle was said to be related to the case of a Brazilian nun who was cured of a deadly disease.

Beatification is the penultimate step before sainthood. For actual sainthood, proof of another miracle is required.

Charles I sat on the throne of the now defunct empire between 1916 and 1918.

No date has been set for the beatification.

Last Habsburg ruler

"He (Charles I) served his people with justice and charity," said the Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Saints on Saturday.

BEATIFICATION Beatification requires that a miracle has occurred Group approaches local bishop After Rome's approval an investigation is launched Findings are sent to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints Case is presented to the Pope Blessed may be accorded a feast day Relics of the candidate may be venerated Canonisation (Actual sainthood ) requires proof of a second miracle

"He sought peace, helped the poor, cultivated a spiritual life with commitment," the statement added.

The Vatican launched the emperor on the path to sainthood in April 2002, when Pope John Paul II formally recognised his "heroic virtues".

After that, Vatican experts sought to formally verify claims of the miracle.

The reported miracle happened when the Brazilian nun was cured of a deadly disease after praying for Charles I's beatification, the emperor's grandson George Habsburg told the Hungarian Catholic Uj Ember last year.

The last Habsburg emperor became heir to the throne after his uncle, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, was assassinated in Sarajevo in 1914 - an event that triggered World War I.

Charles I was unable to stop the disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian empire and abdicated in 1918.

He went into exile and died on the Portuguese island of Madeira in the Atlantic in 1922 at the age of 34.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: beatification; catholicchurch; charlesi
It's very unusal for an Emperor to be beatified.
1 posted on 12/21/2003 1:07:43 PM PST by Jake_the_Snake_Roberts
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To: Jake_the_Snake_Roberts
Charles might have been a good guy, but was he on par with say Mother Teresa? Somehow I feel this beatification has some political overtones. I'm concerned that the Pope's current condition has caused the Vatican to operate on autopilot and I think beatifying anyone who comes along cheapens the meaning of sainthood. Somewhat like Rabelais' famed St. Fiacre of Brie.
2 posted on 12/21/2003 1:22:48 PM PST by The Great RJ
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To: The Great RJ

I read the Pope has canonized over 400 people, more than his four predecessors put together.

Mother Teresa is a worthy candidate for sainthood. But the last Emperor of the Austro-Hungrian Empire? A country both the UK and the US were at war with at the time?
3 posted on 12/21/2003 1:38:54 PM PST by Jake_the_Snake_Roberts
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To: Jake_the_Snake_Roberts
It's very unusal for an Emperor to be beatified.

Not with this emperor.

4 posted on 12/21/2003 1:43:02 PM PST by CharlesI (They're not liberals, they're leftists!)
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To: Jake_the_Snake_Roberts
"Beatification is the penultimate step before sainthood."

BBC, go stand in the corner!
Beatification is the *ultimate* step *before* sainthood.
5 posted on 12/21/2003 1:45:32 PM PST by John Beresford Tipton
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To: Jake_the_Snake_Roberts
This has to be a joke.
6 posted on 12/21/2003 1:47:02 PM PST by HuntsvilleTxVeteran (Hillary Al-Muscovy (If it waddles like a Russian duck, Quacks like a Russian duck etc))
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To: John Beresford Tipton
In a sense, both statements are true...
7 posted on 12/21/2003 1:47:27 PM PST by gorush
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To: John Beresford Tipton
pe·nul·ti·mate ( P ) Pronunciation Key (p-nlt-mt)
adj.
Next to last.
Linguistics. Of or relating to the penult of a word: penultimate stress.

n.
The next to the last.

It is a word and they used it correctly.

8 posted on 12/21/2003 1:49:23 PM PST by Harmless Teddy Bear (Prancer II: Pass the Mashed Potatoes and Gravy. - Delicious! A Holiday Movie for the whole family!)
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To: Jake_the_Snake_Roberts
Karl I's widow Zita von Bourbon-Parma survived until 1989 and died at the age of 96.
9 posted on 12/21/2003 1:51:02 PM PST by Verginius Rufus
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To: Harmless Teddy Bear
"The next to the last.
It is a word and they used it correctly."

But beatification is not the next to last step *Before* sainthood.
Beatification is the LAST, i.e., ultimate, step *Before* sainthood.
10 posted on 12/21/2003 1:53:22 PM PST by John Beresford Tipton
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To: John Beresford Tipton
I sit corrected.
11 posted on 12/21/2003 2:18:46 PM PST by Harmless Teddy Bear (Prancer II: Pass the Mashed Potatoes and Gravy. - Delicious! A Holiday Movie for the whole family!)
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To: Jake_the_Snake_Roberts
"Emperor Charles I: World War I peace campaigner


The evil legacy of World War I (1914-1918) was incalculable, most notably in the rise of Russian Communism, the emergence of Nazism in Germany and ultimately World War II. Among a handful of public figures, including Pope Benedict XV, who worked strenuously, but ultimately unsuccessfully, for peace, was the young Catholic Emperor Charles I of Austria-Hungary. His efforts were heroic, unstinting and sincere, but the obstacles of militarism and narrow nationalism were to prove insurmountable.

James Bogle, who is a barrister in London and a former British cavalry officer, is co-author with his wife, Joanna, of a biography of the Emperor Charles entitled 'Heart for Europe'. (Available from Charles Paine Pty Ltd, 8 Ferris Street, North Parramatta, NSW 2151).

To the English-speaking world the last Emperor of Austria-Hungary might seem an unlikely candidate for inclusion in a miscellany of Catholic heroes and still less, for canonisation as a saint of the Catholic Church.

Nevertheless, the case of Emperor Charles I is currently being considered by the Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Saints, with the present Pope even indicating his own interest in, and enthusiasm for, the cause of the late Emperor. (The Pope's father was himself an officer in the Austro-Hungarian army over which the Emperor Charles was at one time commander-in-chief).

Few today know that this same Emperor, among all the political leaders of the belligerent nations, was the chief campaigner for an end to the First World War and a tireless and zealous worker for peace throughout that conflict.

This Charles came to the throne of his Habsburg ancestors at a time when Europe and the world were plunged into the bloodiest war that human history had ever, at that time, known. His great uncle, Emperor Francis Joseph I (Franz Josef), died in 1916, having occupied the throne since 1848, a year when Europe had suffered a wave of revolutions inspired by 'anti-clericals' who were opposed not only to the Catholic dynasties and their rule and the influence of the Catholic clergy upon them, but frequently to the Catholic religion itself.

With war in the Balkans in the 1990s, perhaps we are now in a better position to understand the dilemma Franz Josef and his government faced when the Bosnian Serbs carried out the assassination at Sarajevo of the heir to the throne, Archduke Franz-Ferdinand of Austria.

An ultimatum was delivered to the Serbian government who were sheltering the conspirators and war followed. This set off a chain-reaction of alliances, beginning with Russian aid to Serbia, going on to Germany and France and rapidly drawing in Britain which came to the aid of Belgium whose territory was entered by the German armies on their way to invade France, the ally of Russia. The result was the First World War.

It was this terrible legacy that the Emperor Charles I inherited in 1916 when the old Emperor died. Charles had been born at Persenbeug Castle, not far from the Empire's western capital Vienna, on 17 August 1887 and was thus 29 when he came to the throne. Because of Franz Ferdinand's assassination, Charles had become heir. He at once set about doing all in his power to bring peace. However, he had insurmountable obstacles to overcome which were to block his every move.

Charles had married on 21 October 1911, Princess Zita of Bourbon-Parma, the daughter of the Duke of Parma. a small duchy in Italy formerly ruled by a branch of the Bourbon family until they were overthrown and expelled by the revolutionaries. Zita would live on until 1989. Their marriage had been a love match from the start, fortified by a mutually strong Catholic faith

Austria-Hungary was a polyglot empire consisting of many little nations. Since 1868 it had been a Dual Monarchy divided into two parts, one ruled from Vienna, the other (the Hungarian half) from Budapest, but both under one Emperor. The rise of nationalism meant that there were groups conspiring to split up this Habsburg empire into its constituent nations. In German-speaking parts the pan-Germanist movement had made significant gains and its adherents sought, ultimately, to unite the German-speaking parts of the Austrian Empire into the new German Empire.

Military aggression

This new German Empire had only begun in 1871. It was the creation of the Protestant Prussian militarist, Otto von Bismarck, who pursued a policy of military aggression in which he defeated France and Austria and then amalgamated all the German states into one empire, including Catholic Bavaria and Protestant Prussia, the latter dominating.

This new German Empire dominated the European political and military scene, with Austria increasingly overshadowed by it, and when Emperor Charles came to the throne, Austria was bound in alliance with Germany to whom it was militarily inferior. The German Emperor was William II, a vain, pompous and belligerent man, incompetent politically and militarily, and entirely dependent upon his generals whose dominant element were Prussian militarists and chauvinists.

Although Charles was able to get on personally with Emperor William, who was by then old enough to be his father, he could not get through to William's bombastic and belligerent generals.

With the aid of Zita's brother, Prince Sixtus of Bourbon-Parma, he was able instead to make his most bold initiative for peace. Two of Zita's brothers, including Sixtus, were serving with the Belgians, Austria's enemy.

Zita wrote a moving and urgent plea to Sixtus: "Do not let yourself be held by considerations which in ordinary life would be justified. Think of all the unfortunates who live in the hell of the trenches and die there every day by the hundreds, and come!"

Through Sixtus, Charles made a peace offer to the Allied governments. Sixtus approached the French government first and later the British government, speaking to Prime Minister David Lloyd-George.

Emperor Charles' peace plan allowed for sweeping territorial gains to the Allied nations - he was more interested in peace even than preserving the full boundaries of the Empire. This was another reason for secrecy since the full revelation of what Charles was prepared to negotiate away in the interests of peace would certainly have caused a strong reaction from the more bellicose elements within Austria-Hungary. Charles' willingness to make concessions went even further than that of Pope Benedict XV, himself an ardent and enthusiastic peace campaigner. Charles was willing, for example, to cede Alsace-Lorraine, a territory which was traditionally Habsburg but currently then in German hands.

Anti-clerical

As is plain from the papers of the British Cabinet Secretary Sir Maurice Hankey, Lloyd-George saw the Emperor's peace plan as little more than a sign of weakness on the part of Austria. This was almost certainly a reason for his energetic pursuance of a policy to strike at Austria through Italy. The new French Prime Minister, Clemenceau, who had taken over in November 1917, was a notorious anti-clerical and equally determined to see the end of the Habsburg Catholic monarchy. On 12 April 1918, he published Charles' peace letters in full.

The Germans exploded in indignation at Charles' evident willingness to negotiate away Alsace-Lorraine (and much else besides) for the sake of peace. Charles wrote to Emperor William warning him that, in the aftermath of the Russian October 1917 Revolution, the real enemy of Europe was now Bolshevism and that the war must be ended as quickly as possible for the sake of Europe's future. William, under the thumb of his generals, had allowed Lenin through German territory (Charles had resolutely refused him access via the Empire) to start the revolution.

The Germans now forced Austria-Hungary to be tied inextricably to them or face a German invasion supported by the nationalists (like the Hungarians) within the Empire. Austria-Hungary had become a German satellite.

Charles, the young peace-Emperor (Friedenskaiser), as he had been called, had no more cards to play. They had all been snatched from him by the small-mindedness of others. He would remain popular with the ordinary people of the Empire but after the Sixtus affair he could not exercise any restraint on their nationalist leaders in the imperial parliaments. Added to that, his health was poor and, despite being hardly 31, he had suffered a series of heart attacks.

At war's end Charles was compelled to sign a withdrawal of power but he was careful never to sign an abdication document despite all kinds of threats of internment and violence made against him by the republican politicians who were taking over power.

It was at this point that a British officer, Lt-Colonel Edward Lisle Strutt DSO, came to the rescue. Strutt was a Catholic educated by Jesuits at Beaumont College, and at Innsbruck and Oxford Universities. He was also a linguist, a mountaineer and a war hero. Strutt was largely responsible for seeing the Imperial couple safely out of the Empire. He bluffed the new socialist government in Vienna and arranged for a train to Switzerland, but without compromising Charles' position and integrity.

The day arrived on 23 March 1919. Charles' son, Archduke Dr Otto von Habsburg (now a member of the European Parliament), recalled that Charles had ordered a Mass to be said at which he would be altar-server. Local people from all around came to say farewell to their Friedenskaiser and in Vienna a huge crowd gathered to watch their Emperor, the last ruler of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the direct historical descendent of the Holy Roman Empire, being taken away by train out of his ancestral land and into exile.

Ultimately, after two unsuccessful attempts at regaining the throne of Hungary, Charles was taken in 1921 to the island of Madeira where he would live in great poverty with Zita and their eight children. Within a year, in March 1922, he had caught a chill and became seriously ill. On 1st April, surrounded by his impoverished family and with the name of his Saviour upon his lips, he breathed his last at just 34 years of age.

For the people of the Danube basin history has turned full circle. Once again they are faced with a choice between co-operation and mutual help, to aid their recovery from the nightmare of communism, or an insistence on nationalist isolation. Perhaps some of the lessons learned by the young peace-Emperor who stood at the head of the Catholic empire to which their nations all once belonged, might be worth recalling.

Suffering

Charles had endured a life of privation in exile with the same equanimity as he had the years as Emperor. He accepted his final suffering as a sacrifice which he had to endure for the future well-being of his family and his people. Lacking in years and experience he had nonetheless made wiser judgments than any of his elders. All were based upon a firm and well-informed Faith. He had failed in his attempt to regain the throne of Hungary only because he refused to see more bloodshed, but he never abdicated, seeing this as a retreat from duty.

A daily Mass-attender, Charles' greatest pleasure was in his family. He appreciated his inheritance and valued tradition. Such unfashionable and simple values no doubt account for his being a neglected figure in our time. His political outlook - with its refusal to avoid even the most onerous responsibilities - doubtless make him even less popular with the rootless, valueless political figures of today. God, on the other hand, may have different plans for his venerable servant. On 1 April 1972, exactly fifty years after his death, Charles' coffin was opened by an ecclesiastical commission and his body was found to be intact.

Fr Ambrogio Eszer OP of the Congregation for Saints and the Relator-General of his cause has indicated to this writer that the Cause is now poised to advance to the next stage, that of Beatification.
"

http://www.ad2000.com.au/articles/1996/apr1996p12_783.html
12 posted on 12/21/2003 2:38:54 PM PST by stck
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To: Jake_the_Snake_Roberts; stck
But the last Emperor of the Austro-Hungrian Empire? A country both the UK and the US were at war with at the time?

It's time for Americans to face up to the fact that we had no business being at war with Austria-Hungary and Germany. American intervention in World War I paved the way for Nazism and World War II. The despicable Woodrow Wilson, in my opinion the most destructive of all U.S. presidents, was a fraud and a liar who got re-elected on the slogan "He kept us out of war" and promptly got us in.

As stck's post illustrates, Charles I was a good man who fully deserves this honor.

13 posted on 12/22/2003 8:02:12 AM PST by royalcello
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To: stck
Thank you very much for posting this. Twentieth-century European politics have not seen a better man.
14 posted on 12/22/2003 8:03:30 AM PST by royalcello
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To: Goetz_von_Berlichingen; B-Chan; Guelph4ever; Land of the Irish
Hapsburg beatification alert!
15 posted on 12/22/2003 8:04:36 AM PST by royalcello
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To: The Great RJ
Charles might have been a good guy, but was he on par with say Mother Teresa?

Not all saints are created equal. Some saints are greater than others.

16 posted on 12/22/2003 8:07:34 AM PST by BlessedBeGod
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To: stck
Nevertheless, the case of Emperor Charles I is currently being considered by the Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Saints, with the present Pope even indicating his own interest in, and enthusiasm for, the cause of the late Emperor. (The Pope's father was himself an officer in the Austro-Hungarian army over which the Emperor Charles was at one time commander-in-chief).

Austrian rule was popular among the Polish subjects of the Austrian Empire, particularly in Cracow. They understood how much better Austrian rule was than Prussian or Russian.

17 posted on 12/22/2003 8:23:48 AM PST by aristeides
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To: Jake_the_Snake_Roberts
But the last Emperor of the Austro-Hungrian Empire? A country both the UK and the US were at war with at the time?

So what? Karl had nothing to do with starting the war, and tried as hard as he could to end it.

18 posted on 12/22/2003 8:25:32 AM PST by aristeides
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To: royalcello
As a supporter of eventual Habsburg restoration, I naturally welcome progress in His Imperial Majesty's beatification.

I do not, however, approve of the condescending and accusatory tone against Kaiser Wilhelm, another of my personal heroes. Germany's support for Austria-Hungary after the murder of the Archduke and Archduchess was in fulfillment of a debt of honour, and most assuredly NOT in Germany's best practical interests, as members of the General Staff and other imperial advisors had pointed out to Kaiser Wilhelm.

German conduct in this matter had been as virtuous as Italy's and Russia's had been despicable. The houses of Romanov and Savoy had, in effect, put themselves squarely in support of regicide and nationalistic terrorism.

Had Kaiser Wilhelm been of the same moral quality as his illustrious but unscrupulous ancestor Frederic II, he would have colluded with "the Allies" in divvying up Austria-Hungary much as the violators of the Pragmatic Sanction wanted to do in 1740. He could certainly have gotten deutsch-Oesterreich in return for betraying Franz Josef to the Russians.

While we can praise Kaiser Karl as "the Peace Emperor", it should nonetheless be borne in mind the moral quality of the people with whom he was negotiating such a unilateral and dishonourable peace -- the English, the French, and the Americans. Minions of Satan, all.

It is unfortunate, but in dealing with these people, he was basically willing to sacrifice Germany to preserve Austria. Had Kaiser Wilhelm had the same attitude towards Austria in 1914, the Great War may have been postponed, but there would have been no Austria-Hungary left for a Kaiser Karl to rule.
19 posted on 12/22/2003 10:53:58 PM PST by Goetz_von_Berlichingen
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To: John Beresford Tipton
Beatification is the LAST, i.e., ultimate, step *Before* sainthood.

Isn't canonization the last step before sainthood? In that case, canonization is the ultimate step, and beatification is the penultimate step.

20 posted on 12/22/2003 11:18:04 PM PST by stripes1776
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To: stripes1776
"Isn't canonization the last step before sainthood?"

I looked at it as canonization was sainthood, therefore it wasn't a step *before* sainthood.
21 posted on 12/23/2003 5:57:20 AM PST by John Beresford Tipton
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To: Jake_the_Snake_Roberts
Charles I sat on the throne of the now defunct empire between 1916 and 1918.

The Beeb's breathtaking grasp of the obvious.

22 posted on 12/23/2003 6:00:15 AM PST by Petronski (I'm not always cranky.)
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To: Goetz_von_Berlichingen
Alas, Wilhelm II has been singled out as 'scapegoat #1' for the Great War, with all of his good qualities ignored and all of his shortcomings magnified to absurd proportions.

I do not think the soon-to-be Blessed Kaiser Karl I was willing to sacrifice Germany for Austria, he could see where this war was going and urged Germany to give up Elsass-Lothringen, for which he would compensate them with territory of his own--better to lose a province than the whole empire after all. In fact, he was about the only world leader willing to concede in the name of peace.

However, that being said, I have bored many an individual with my explanation that Wilhelm II was not being entirely obstinate, but simply more realistic than his Austrian kamerad (though as half-English obstinancy was in his nature). Karl I suffered from a common disorder of the saintly: his purity inhibited him from seeing the impurity of others. He deserves every honor for his heartfelt desire to make peace, but Wilhelm II realized that the Allies were bent on nothing less than their total annihilation and that any attempt to negotiate only served to show that the Central Powers were become desperate.

Wilhelm II (like Franz Josef) was simply out-of-date. He still believed a monarch was answerable to God rather than politicians or ever shifting popular opinion.

Gott Erhalte Unser Kaiser!
23 posted on 01/05/2004 12:20:22 AM PST by Guelph4ever (“Tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam et tibi dabo claves regni coelorum”)
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To: royalcello

Hey Im related to Hapsburgs thrice over and am happy
to see this.


24 posted on 09/28/2004 4:42:17 PM PDT by Selkie
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To: royalcello

Amen, amen!


25 posted on 09/28/2004 4:46:17 PM PDT by AMDG&BVMH (Proudly served in the National Guard)
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To: Goetz_von_Berlichingen

"Italy's and Russia's had been despicable."

Don't forget Russia's ally, France -- without whom she would not have moved . . .


26 posted on 09/28/2004 4:49:33 PM PDT by AMDG&BVMH (Proudly served in the National Guard)
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To: John Beresford Tipton
Beatification is the penultimate step in the canonization process. There it is fixed. First Dan Rather, now the BBC. You have been blogged--bow down.
27 posted on 09/28/2004 4:54:31 PM PDT by briant
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To: AMDG&BVMH
One expects despicable conduct from the (republican) French. But Savoy and Romanov should have known better.

For the longest time, Russian ambassadors were forbidden to offer respects at the playing of la Marseillaise because it had been the theme song of the regicides of the Revolution. But all that changed once the Russians decided that they would co-operate with the Jacobins against their former allies, Germany and Austria-Hungary.

The Crimean War should have demonstrated the true intentions of the English and French. Tsar Nicholas was far too trusting of these western scoundrels, and his trust was repaid by the refusal of the English to grant him asylum, even after Kaiser Wilhelm's government had agreed to give the Romanovs free passage through Germany after the revolution.

28 posted on 09/28/2004 6:02:09 PM PDT by Goetz_von_Berlichingen
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To: Selkie
I'm related to Hapsburgs thrice over

Really? How? (If you don't want to post your genealogical information publicly, please send me a private message.)

29 posted on 09/29/2004 11:00:02 AM PDT by royalcello
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