Tuesday, 19 July 2011

HIRH Archduke Otto of Austria - the Kaiserhymne and the Habsburg burial ritual

The Vienna Requiem


His Imperial & Royal Highness

Archduke Otto of Austria

~~~ " ~~~

The Kaiserhymne

The Habsburg burial ritual

Austria Erat in Orbe Ultimo


Sunday, 10 July 2011

His Imperial & Royal Highness Archduke Otto of Austria, successor to the Roman Emperors, dies - RIP

Of your charity

pray for the soul of

His Imperial and Royal Highness


Franz Joseph Otto Robert Maria Anton Karl Max Heinrich Sixtus Xavier Felix Renatus Ludwig Gaetan Pius Ignatius

By the Grace of God

and hereditary right

Emperor of Austria


King of Hungary

and of Bohemia, Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, Galicia and Lodomeria
King of Jerusalem
Archduke of Austria
Grand Duke of Tuscany and Cracow
Duke of Lorraine, Salzburg, Styria, Carinthia, Carniola and Bukowina
Grand Prince of Transylvania, Margrave of Moravia
Duke of Silesia, Modena, Parma, Piacenza, Guastalla, Oświęcim and Zator, Teschen, Friaul, Dubrovnik and Zadar
Princely Count of Habsburg and Tyrol, of Kyburg, Gorizia and Gradisca
Prince of Trent and Brixen
Margrave of Upper and Lower Lusatia and Istria
Count of Hohenems, Feldkirch, Bregenz, Sonnenburg etc
Lord of Trieste, Kotor and the Windic March,
Grand Voivod of the Voivode of Serbia etc

Bailiff Grand Cross of Honour and Devotion of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta

Grand Master of the Order of the Golden Fleece (Austrian Branch)
Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Hungarian Order of Saint Stephen

Knight Grand Cross of the Imperial Austrian Order of Leopold

Knight of the Order of the Most Holy Annunciation (Savoy)

Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Saint Januarius (Bourbon-Sicily)

Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Saint Hubert (Wittelsbach-Bavaria)

Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Immaculate Conception of Vila Viçosa (Braganza-Portugal)

HIRH Archduke Otto of Austria
at the coronation of his father, HIM the Blessed Emperor Charles of Austria,
as King Charles IV of Hungary in 1916
alighting from the royal coach with his mother, HIM Empress Zita


Austria Erat In Orbe Ultimo

The Funeral Exequies


His Imperial and Royal Highness

Archduke Otto of Austria

occurs five times in three countries

Bavaria – The first requiem was initiated with a mass for His Imperial and Royal Highness Archduke Otto of Austria, Prince Royal of Hungary, celebrated on 9 July 2011 by Bishop Konrad Zdarsa of Augsburg in the St. Pius church in Pöcking, near the home of Archduke Otto.

Bavaria – The second requiem mass will be celebrated in the Theatine Church in Munich on 11 July 2011 at 10am by Cardinal Reinhard Marx.
The requiem will be screened on big screens at Odeonsplatz.

Following the requiem, the Prime Minister of Bavaria, Horst Seehofer, hosts a reception for around 700 invited guests in the Kaisersaal of the Munich Residenz. Among the guests are former Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel, members of the House of Wittelsbach, of the Order of Malta and the Order of the Golden Fleece, and other European royals and leading politicians.
Bavarian Television will broadcast the entire ceremony.

Austria – The third requiem will be celebrated in the pilgrimage town of Mariazell on 13 July 2011 at 2pm. Mariazell has for centuries been the most important pilgrimage town for the House of Habsburg, and large parts of the former Austria-Hungary.

Austria – The main funeral ceremony will take place in Vienna. The requiem will be celebrated in St Stephen's Cathedral on 16 July 2011 at 3pm, at which His Eminence, Christoph Cardinal Count von Schönborn will preside.
It will be followed by a funeral procession through the Innere Stadt of Vienna and the entombment of Archduke Otto and his wife, Archduchess Regina, in the Habsburg Imperial Crypt of the Imperial Capuchin Church of Vienna

Hungary – The last requiem mass is scheduled for Sunday, 17 July 2011 at 3pm, and will be celebrated in St Stephen's Basilica in Budapest, Hungary.

Finally Otto's heart will be interred in Pannonhalma Archabbey with only the close family present.

Tributes to Archduke Otto of Austria

EU – The President of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek, stated: "This morning, a European giant passed away [...] In the darkest hours of our continent, Otto von Habsburg has been a rock of truth and humanity. He resisted Nazism with the same determination he opposed the Communist regimes of the Eastern bloc".

Paneuropean Union flag Paneuropean Union – Zoltán Wodianer-Nemessuri, chair of the Paneuropean Union in Hungary, stated: "He deserves undying respect in Hungary (for doing) by far the most to ensure that the 1956 Hungarian Uprising should not fade from public memory".

Holy See – In a telegram addressed to Karl von Habsburg, Archduke of Austria, Pope Benedict XVI offered his condolences to the House of Habsburg. Pope Benedict XVI praised Otto von Habsburg as "a great European" who had worked tirelessly for peace, the coexistence of peoples and a just order in Europe. "In the hour of grief over this tragic loss, I associate myself with you and the entire imperial family in prayer for the deceased. In a long and fulfilling life, Archduke Otto was a witness to the eventful history of Europe", the Pope wrote.

HE Renato, Cardinal Martino remembered Otto as one of the twentieth century's "greatest defenders" of the Catholic faith and human dignity, stating that his father, "Blessed Karl of Austria, instilled in him from an early age that the office of a ruler is one of holy service and selfless sacrifice for the good of the peoples entrusted to him. It was a philosophy that would influence him all his life."

HE Christoph, Cardinal Count von Schönborn said that "Otto von Habsburg was without doubt one of the really great Europeans". Schörnborn regretted that it had taken so much time for Austria to show "the reasonable gratitude towards the House of Habsburg, to which Austria owes so incredibly much" and whose "political and cultural heritage we live on today."

Hungary – As the news emerged about Archduke Otto's death in Budapest, Hungarian lawmakers immediately held a minute of silence in parliament. The President of Hungary, Pál Schmitt, and the Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orbán, both sent their condolences to the Habsburg family.

An official government statement said that "his staunch support for the Hungarian cause and for Hungarian people brought him universal recognition and popularity in our country".

Austria – Austrian president Heinz Fischer labeled Archduke Otto a "loyal citizen of the republic of Austria", despite the fact that his family was forbidden to enter Austria until Archduke Otto formally renounced his claim to the throne.

Chancellor Werner Faymann said that "his life reflects the great turning points of the Austrian and European history".

Czech Republic – Foreign Minister His Serene Highness Prince Karel von Schwarzenberg praised Archduke Otto, stating that Otto had "courageously fought for the peoples imprisoned behind the Iron Curtain". Schwarzenberg remarked that Otto was the last person who had had a constitutional position "in the old Monarchy", stating that "we should never forget that he was the Crown Prince of Austria, Hungary, and Bohemia". Schwarzenberg also praised Archduke Otto's strong anti-Nazi stance, stating that the fact that the annexation of Austria was codenamed "Operation Otto", meant that "the Nazis knew Otto was their main enemy".

Slovenia – President Danilo Türk said: "Otto von Habsburg was one of the strongest advocates of a united Europe, a great man and a promoter of human freedom".

Latvia – Foreign Minister Ģirts Valdis Kristovskis sent his condolences to the German Foreign Minister, saying Archudke Otto's "involvement of spreading European democracy and the European idea will be remembered in Latvia".

Macedonia – President Gjorge Ivanov sent his letter of condolences to the Habsburg family, stating that Archduke Otto was a "friend of the Republic of Macedonia" and that "he never forgot about Macedonia".

Kosovo – President Atifete Jahjaga sent her condolences to the Habsburg court, stating that "with deep sorrow I heard the news of the death of His Majesty Archduke Otto von Habsburg. Today, Europe has lost a prominent politician, the great proponent of peace and a contributor to its union, while Kosovo has lost an irreplaceable friend who will be considered and remembered forever. On this painful occasion, on behalf of the Republic of Kosovo and its citizens, and on my personal behalf, I express my most heartfelt condolences and my deepest sympathy to the Court of Habsburg".

Croatia – Foreign Minister Gordan Jandroković sent his condolences to the Habsburg family, and described Archduke Otto as "a great political role model, a great European and a relentless promoter of human rights". He said that the Croatian people always had a great friend in Archduke Otto and that he will be especially remembered for his involvement and contribution to the international recognition of the Republic of Croatia.

Germany – Member of Parliament and President of the Federation of Expellees Erika Steinbach praised Archduke Otto as "a strong supporter of the refugees and a compassionate intermediary between the peoples of Europe".

Bavaria – The ruling Christian Social Union of Bavaria, the party which Otto represented as a MEP, issued a statement, stating, "the CSU mourns the death of His Imperial and Royal Highness Dr Otto von Habsburg". Prime Minister Horst Seehofer lauded Otto as "an advocate for Europe, a defender of freedom, and of the faith and our values". He also mentioned Archduke Otto's role in bringing down the Iron Curtain.

Austria – Former Chancellor of Austria Wolfgang Schüssel said that Archduke Otto "internalized like no other person the all-European idea and articulated it already at a time when there was still a dark shadow over the continent".

Othmar Karas, leader of the European Parliament delegation of the Austrian People's Party, said that "all of Europe is crying" at the news of Archduke Otto's death.

Archduke Otto speaks about the importance of religion in the world today and his life in politics

A 13-day period of mourning started in several countries formerly part of Austria-Hungary on 5 July 2011, when the body of His Imperial and Royal Highness Archduke Otto of Austria, Prince Royal of Hungary was laid in repose in the Church of St. Ulrich near his home in Pöcking, Bavaria.

The body will be transferred by train to the Catholic pilgrimage basilica in Mariazell on 12 July 2011 before being transferred by train to Vienna.

In accordance with the Habsburg tradition, his body and heart will be buried separately.

Archduke Otto will be entombed in the Imperial Crypt (Kapuzinergruft) together with his parents, wife and other family members.

His heart will be buried in Pannonhalma Archabbey in Hungary.

Archduke Otto was educated by monks from Pannonhalma Benedictine College.

He and his family were exiled from Austria and Hungary in 1918 and then again after his father attempted to re-gain the throne of Hungary but was stopped by Admiral von Horthy, the Regent, who later sided with Hitler.

The funeral is expected to be a major event in Vienna's history. Cardinal von Schönborn described it as "an historic moment for Austria", stating that it will be good for the country to "think of this great Habsburg in prayer and gratitude".

Otto's mother, Empress-Queen Zita, dies in 1989 and her state funeral was attended by 40,000 people.

Otto will be buried with military honours.

The funeral in Vienna will be broadcast live by Austrian Television and the requiem will also be screened at big screens at Stephansplatz.

The organisers are planning one of the longest funeral processions in history (some 1.5 km long) through the inner city.

Following the procession, Archduke Otto will be entombed in the Imperial Crypt.

According to Der Standard, "the Republic and the Church are preparing an imperial funeral".

A blessing from Pope Benedict XVI will be read during the requiem.

Archduke Otto will be the penultimate person to be entombed in the Imperial Crypt, where 145 other members of his family have been entombed since 1633. The Crypt is almost full.

In Bavaria, the ruling Christian Social Union of Bavaria are also organising the largest commemorations in the state since the death of the former Prime Minister, Franz Josef Strauss. The commemorations include the celebration of two requiems and a reception at the Munich Residenz.

Archduke Otto's coffin has been draped with the Habsburg imperial flag in black-yellow emblazoned with the imperial-royal coats of arms of Austria and Hungary in addition to the Habsburg family coat of arms.

Archduke Otto wrote that the funeral of Franz Joseph I of Austria in 1916 had been the most profound experience of his childhood; the 4-year old had attended the funeral dressed completely in white among all the adults dressed in black.

Archduke Otto's funeral is organised by his sons, Charles, head of the House of Habsburg, and George. Charles revealed that the planning for the funeral had started 12 years earlier, and that Otto had not involved himself in it, except for expressing the wish for a ceremony in Hungary in line with the family tradition.

The Imperial Crypt of the Habsburg family is each year visited by around 200,000 people. The Crypt was constructed ain accordance with the will of Empress Anna.

At the traditional Habsburg funeral ceremony the procession of mourners arrives at the gates of the Imperial Capuchin Crypt, and a Chamberlain knocks on the door. A Capuchin friar then asks "who demands entry?" The Chamberlain responds with the name and many titles of the imperial personage. The Capuchin friar then responds "we don't know him". The same procedure is repeated but with less titles on the second occasion. On the third occasion, the Chamberlain responds, answering "a sinful, mortal human being", the friar responds "then we know him" and the gates are opened and the dead imperial Habsburg is admitted into the Crypt. This ceremony was used at the funeral requiem in 1989 of Empress Zita of Austria, the mother of Archduke Otto.

The sarcophagus of Archduke Otto's wife, Archduchess Regina, which was interred in her family crypt in the castle of Veste Heldburg in Germany in 2010, will be transferred to Mariazell and then to the Imperial Crypt in Vienna at the same time at that of Archduke Otto. However, the heart of Archduchess Regina will remain in her family crypt in Veste Heldburg.

Requiescant in pace...

May they rest in peace...