Blessed Karl and the Sacred Heart of Jesus

By Zita Ballinger Fletcher

The image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was a very important facet of Blessed Emperor Karl’s personal life. This image held great significance for Karl. In his private and public life, he was focused on God’s love. 

Images depicting Jesus’s Sacred Heart were uncommon during Karl’s lifetime as compared to modern times. Images of and prayers to the Sacred Heart of Jesus did not become widely popular until the Catholic Church promoted the devotion for the general public starting in 1899.

The image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus inspired Karl as he lived a life of love for his wife Zita, love for his family, and love for his people and his country.

The image of God’s Heart was one that Karl and Zita always kept close by, in their home and when they traveled. The Sacred Heart image also appeared on Karl’s memorial prayer cards distributed at the time of his death.

God’s love shown in the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was an example that Karl followed and a belief he demonstrated with his actions in his life of love and self-sacrifice. 


Zita Ballinger Fletcher is a journalist for CNS (Catholic News Service) who resides in Washington, D.C. She was named after Empress Zita and took the name Karl as her confirmation patron. She is devotee and member of the Emperor Karl League of Prayer for Peace Among Nations. 

Karl Austria