Memories of Villa Quinta do Monte

The article below is from a missionary priest in 1930 who visited the Villa Quinta do Monte, the home of Blessed Karl while in exile. The article originally appearing in the Kaiser Karl Gedächtnis-Jahrbuch, 1931, page 32.

The article has been recently translated by Suzanne Pearson, League Delegate, and shared here given the recent fire which destroyed the Villa. Click to learn more about the recent fire. 

Those who love Blessed Karl felt deep sorrow at the destruction of the Villa Quinta do Monte, the house in Madeira in which the emperor lived with his family, and in which he suffered and died.   It was almost a relic of him, a place where his holy and loving presence could be palpably felt.   A missionary priest who visited the villa in 1930 described the experience this way:

“In a spacious garden, lush with subtropical foliage, lies a simple house, in which the blessed emperor spent his last days on Earth surrounded by his family.  An incomparable view of the city far below, and beyond it the deep blue ocean, beckons from the winding garden paths.   Around the blooming oaks are rose bushes of every color, and camellia trees drop thousands of their dark-red blossoms, shining in the brightness of the southern sun.

“Along these garden paths our emperor once walked, with a cross on his shoulder.  It was a cross so heavy, that seldom has anyone been called to carry a heavier cross in the footsteps of Our Lord.   And already he knew that God was demanding from him the sacrifice of his life.  In this garden he experienced his agony on the Mount of Olives, generously repeating his own “Fiat voluntas tua” after Our Savior.

“And here, in this very room, the sacrifice was consummated.  It was under this picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  Here the emperor suffered unspeakably---both physical sickness and unbearable sorrow.  Here he bid farewell to the companion of his life and sufferings, here he blessed his first-born son, Otto, and his other children for the last time, here he forgave his enemies and prayed for them.  Here, with the Name of Jesus on his lips, in the arms of the empress, he bowed his head in death; from here his lily-pure soul was carried up to the sight of God.  In such a holy place, one can only remain kneeling.”

Karl Austria