On October 20 and 21, the ceremony of the solemn inauguration of a relic of the blessed Emperor Charles was celebrated on Mount Odile near Strasbourg. Well organized by Prof. Phillips Nuss, Paneuropean Secretary General for Alsace, this location was chosen very deliberately – after all, the Hohenburg monastery on Mount Odile is the most important place of pilgrimage by far, which is visited every day by countless believers as well as tourists. Rightly so – we couldn’t escape the mysticism, the atmosphere of the place either.
On Saturday, October 20, the delegation of the Order of St. Georgs, a European order of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine, led personally by our procurator Vinzenz Baron von Stimpfl-Abele, met in the Lindenhof of the monastery – supported by dames and knights, namely: Ceremonial Michael Blaha, Komtur Josef Jost with his wife, Vice-Comtur Peter Schmitz with his wife, Daniel Quak, Jürgen Laible with his wife (Order Dorothea Haller-Laible), Jörg Ottersbach with daughter Helene, our dame Eva Dämmerle, Komtur Peter Harold, and Vice Chancellor Marcus Paar.
On Saturday shortly after the “come together” in the inner courtyard, the “Procession pour la paix avec les reliques du bienheureux Charles de Habsbourg-Lorraine” started from the linden courtyard of the monastery to the source of St. Odile – Archduchess Gabriela arrived punctually to take part . The relic was collected from the said miraculous spring … this meant a 15 minute walk downhill, 20 minutes uphill with constant prayer and singing – a dignified procession. Our ceremonial and our order delegation led, followed by a delegation of the grave knights with a strength of 24 men and a 50 men strong formation of the Maltese – afterwards many believers, relatives, guests … it was a long, wonderful procession.
After a short prayer at the source, the relic was solemnly accompanied to the monastery and safely stored for the institution on Sunday.
In the evening – eagerly awaited – HIRH Archduke Karl arrived on a direct flight from the Ukraine at Odilienberg and followed an invitation from Count Andlau-Homburg to his residence together with his sister, our procurator and some nuns and brothers. This was a very pleasant evening, which provided a worthy setting for high-quality discussions.
The next day, on Sunday, we were invited to a joint breakfast – our host: S. Exc. Rév. Monseigneur Luc Ravel, followed by the Imperial Highnesses and Procurator Baron von Stimpfl-Abele. Also at this breakfast: HRH Princess von Lobkowicz, born Princess of Bourbon-Parma.
Then the line-up for the inauguration of the insignia of the blessed Emperor Charles began. Our order again led the short procession and took a seat in the choir of the basilica. The Archbishop paid tribute to the merits of the Blessed Emperor Charles, thanked the present imperial family and our order and underlined the importance of the work of the Blessed Emperor Charles and its impact to this day and far beyond, as well as the religious and socio-political importance of these Establishment!
Our delegation of the Order of St. George led the excerpt after the end of the mass and after the short walk to the chapel of the institution we were allowed to stand at a preferred location and attended the institution directly.
It was a wonderful experience, a great ceremony with far-reaching significance, an unforgettable time.