The Null Device

The Blessed Karl I

The latest round of beatifications is out; among the candidates is Emperor Karl, who ruled the Austro-Hungarian Empire between 1916 and 1918. Some objected to his beatification on the grounds that he signed off on the use of poison gas in the trenches of World War 1, but he also miraculously healed a Brazilian nun's varicose veins, so it's alright. The last Habsburg Emperor is not a saint yet (that requires a further miracle to be attributed to him), but he may be accorded a feast day and his relics may be venerated. Which makes me wonder whether, in a century's time, the world may see Tony Blair or someone nominated for sainthood, supported by some true believer or other miraculously recovering from a medical condition.

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