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Blessed Charles of Austria, born in 1887, was a devout Catholic from his early years, growing up in a religious family in Lower Austria. His Catholic upbringing fostered a deep devotion to the Eucharist and the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Known for his personal motto, “I strive always in all things to understand as clearly as possible and follow the will of God, and this in the most perfect way,” Charles exhibited a deep-rooted faith that influenced his life decisions​1​.

Charles's life took a significant turn following the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand in 1914, which precipitated World War I and positioned Charles as the presumptive heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne. Eventually becoming the emperor and king of Hungary, Charles viewed his office as a God-given mandate to effect Christian charity and social reform. During his reign, he notably endeavored to end World War I and was the sole leader to support Pope Benedict XV's peace efforts. Post-war, after unsuccessful attempts to regain power and thwart the rise of Communism in Central Europe, Charles was exiled to Madeira, Portugal, where he lived in prayerful poverty until his demise from pneumonia in 1922. His beatification by Pope John Paul II in 2004 commemorates his virtuous life and efforts to uphold Christian values amidst political turmoil​2​.

The Catholic Church honors Blessed Charles of Austria on different dates; while some sources mark his feast day on October 20, others observe it on October 21​3​​4​​5​​6​. This date is significant as it marks his wedding anniversary to Princess Zita of Bourbon and Parma in 1911, a union blessed with eight children. It symbolizes Charles's commitment to his faith and family​7​​6​. Through his feast day, the Church celebrates the legacy of a ruler whose reign, although brief, was deeply imbued with Christian ideals aimed at bettering the lives of his subjects.

Coloring page design of Blessed Charles of Austria, showcasing him in royal robes and crown, indicative of his role as the emperor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire during World War I. The backdrop hints at a war setting with a dove, symbolizing his support for Benedict XV’s plea for peace.

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