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  • Writer's pictureBishop Mesrop Parsamyan

Who is it?

Hapsburg iLooys

In Vienna, in Austria, there is a church in which the former ruling family in Austria, the Hapsburgs, are buried. When royal funerals used to arrive, the mourners knocked at the door of the church to be allowed in. A priest inside would ask "Who is it that desires admission here?" A guard would call out, "His apostolic majesty, the emperor." The priest would answer, "I don’t know him." They would knock a second time, and again the priest would ask who was there. The funeral guard outside would announce, "The highest emperor." A second time the priest would say, "I don’t know him." A third time they would knock on the door, and the priest would ask "Who is it?" The third time the answer would be, "A poor sinner, your brother."

The royal Hapsburg family in Austria were allowed into the church for burial when they admitted that their deceased was a poor sinner. During Lent, we are all called to make that journey from pride to humility by praying along the way: “God be merciful to the poor sinner that I am.”

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