No JFK, Empress Maria Theresa’s Catholic Faith Informed Her Governing

May 18, 2017

Empress Maria Theresia of Austria by Martin van Meytens

Of all she was taught, the only things that remained with her were her manners, her music, a certain feeling for Italian poetry and her religion…. Maria Theresa’s faith was absolute, and this was a great part of her strength…. [I]t is not too much to say that she lived in and through the Church…. Thus, for example, her great antagonist, Frederick the Great of Prussia, appeared to her not only as the unscrupulous foe he was but as a pretender in league with the Devil. Thus too, even in the days of her alliance with England, the English appeared to her as dangerous heretics, to be kept very much at arms’ length…. To the French King, on the other hand, she had no hesitation in recommending little Marie Antoinette as a suitable bride for the Dauphin. Louis XV, for so long the enemy of her house, was, after all, a Catholic.


Edward Crankshaw, Maria Theresa (New York: The Viking Press, 1969), 21-2.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 577


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