Pope's Condolence Message for Otto von Habsburg

"A Witness to the Changing Face of Europe"

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VATICAN CITY, JULY 11, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Here is the text of the telegram sent Saturday by Benedict XVI on the occasion of the death of 98-year-old Otto von Habsburg, who was the eldest son of Charles I, the last Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary.

Archduke Otto of Austria died July 4 in Pöcking, Germany, and his funeral is scheduled for July 16 in Vienna, Austria. The telegram was sent to his son, Karl von Habsburg, also known as Archduke Karl of Austria.

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To His Royal Highness, Archduke Karl of Austria:

With deepest sympathy have I learned about the passing of your father, His Royal Highness Archduke Otto of Austria. In this hour of sadness at your painful loss, I am united with you and all the royal family in prayer for the dead. During his long and full life, Archduke Otto has been a witness to the changing face of Europe. Trusting in God and aware of a significant heritage, he has been a committed European tirelessly working for freedom, for the unity of peoples and for a just order in this continent. May the Lord reward him for his diverse acts for the good of mankind and give him the fullness of life in his heavenly kingdom. Through the intercession of Mary, the mother of God, I offer an Apostolic Blessing to all family members and to all who mourn Archduke Otto, and who pray for his eternal salvation.

Benedictus PP. XVI