Photos from Old St. Patrick's Shrine Dedication

On Sunday, June 25, 2017, Old St. Patrick Oratory, Kansas City, MO, celebrated the dedication of their new permanent shrine to Blessed Karl of Austria. 

Text by Canon Glenn Gardner, Rector of Old St. Patrick Oratory

On the External Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, which was celebrated on Sunday June 25, 2017, Old St. Patrick Oratory in Kansas City, Missouri, was the focus of the solemn dedication of a new permanent shrine to Blessed Karl of Austria. The many members and friends of Old St. Patrick Oratory came from throughout the Kansas City area and beyond to attend a high mass in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to witness dedication of the shrine and the enthronement of a first class relic of Blessed Karl of Austria. We give thanks to Divine Providence and to the gracious intercession of Blessed Karl himself for seeing, what was a short time ago, only a possibility, now has come to be a reality. Many of those devoted to Blessed Karl and especially those who took part in a solemn novena to Blessed Karl in November of 2016, for the cure of one of the Oratory members stricken with an incurable cancer, were gratified to see the shrine erected at Old St. Patrick’s. Even though the cure was not to be the will of God, we are nonetheless grateful for Blessed Karl’s continued intercession. 

The high mass and dedication was officiated by Canon Glenn Gardner, rector of Old St. Patrick Oratory. During his sermon, Canon Gardner, said that, “The Sacred Heart of Jesus, the physical Heart of Jesus, burning for love of us, gives itself for us (as Christ himself did) as a holocaust — a wholly consumed sacrifice — in order to bring us to salvation.” He then related the necessity of imitating the love of the Sacred Heart as our sure way to holiness much in the same way Blessed Karl did in his own life.” Canon said, “Now today on this Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we will solemnly dedicate this shrine to Blessed Karl of Austria in order that we may honor one of the Church’s blessed…a saint who gave himself over so fully to the will of God that even on his tomb was inscribed the words, “fiat voluntas tua”… may thy will be done….and it is well known that he often said and even on his death bed: ‘My entire effort is always, in all things, to discern the Will of God as clearly as possible, and to obey it, indeed, even to perfection.”

And, “In the most trying of circumstances, aided by his intense love of the most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar and his great devotion the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Blessed Karl was able to soar to the heights of mystic union with Christ, the King of Kings. This is why, by the way, we will have the shrine of Blessed Karl at the Sacred Heart altar. Arrested, despoiled of all his goods, banished to the island of Madeira off of Portugal, he offered himself in union with the Divine Victim for the salvation of souls.”

Speaking further, “If there is truly a saint for our times, divine Providence has seen fit to give us Blessed Karl. In our world, where the powers of hell seem to reign, we need his example and his intercession…for our civic leaders, in defense of traditional married life, for the protection of the innocent, especially the unborn. We need him in our world, in our nation and in our lives. He continues to be a wonderful example of devoted Catholic statesmanship, which is, sadly, all too rare today. We need him as a model for all Catholic fathers and husbands so they see in him an example of the father as not only physical but above also spiritual protector and provider of their families…we follow the example of Christ, we strive to bind ourselves to His Sacred Heart and never ever separate ourselves from it. This is what Blessed Karl did. We must do the same.”

After mass, there was a solemn procession with the relic of Blessed Karl throughout the church during which the organist played a glorious rendition of the “Kaiserlied” and ended with its enthronement at the shrine. The shrine was then dedicated and the prayer for the canonization of Blessed Karl was recited by all. To conclude the ceremony, the relic was then presented for veneration by all in attendance.

We wish to thank His Excellency, the Most Reverend James Johnston, D.D., Bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph for granting permission to erect the shrine.

And to His Imperial and Royal Highness, Archduke Simeon of Austria, for bestowing the relic of Blessed Karl upon the Oratory and the many others who made this event possible.


Karl Austria