Charlemagne: God’s Providential Man for the Eighth Century

May 28, 2020

Some shallow spirits today delight in upbraiding the lofty and generous souls among us who still believe in providential men. However, when one believes in God’s action over men and peoples, there is nothing more natural than to recognize the mission of certain personages whose names have been enshrined in history.

Monument to Emperor Charlemagne on the Old Bridge in Frankfurt

God who can govern the world directly and without intermediary, deigns to have us share in the administration of His immense empire. To govern men made of spirit and flesh, He uses men made of spirit and flesh. He shapes them from all eternity and sends them at their proper time.

Charlemagne

And, without ever infringing on their free will, He uses their freely exercised virtues to act over a nation, a race, or even over the entire world. Thus was it that God prepared Charlemagne. Thus was it that He used him to shore up Christ’s threatened kingdom and the destinies of His Church in the world.

Léon Gautier, introduction to Alphonse Vétault, Charlemagne (India: Classic Reprints – Pranava Books, pod), vii–viii. (Nobility.org translation.)

 

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