As Of The Father, So Too Of The Son

The following quote is taken from the blog, The Cross of Laeken, from a post dated August 2, 2010 – A Chaplain’s Testimony. Please be certain to check out this treasure-trove of Belgian royal history.

Here is a description of Léopold III by Rev. Collart, one of his chaplains during his later years at Argenteuil.

Leopold III

J’ai pu voir transparaître, dans la limpidité de son merveilleux regard, la simplicité et la chaleur de ses paroles, toute la grandeur d’un de nos semblables qui s’est situé tellement au-dessus de nous. Le langage du croyant au prêtre, du confident à l’ami, quand on a cherché ensembles des réponses à des questions lancinantes, quand on a eu si souvent l’occasion de prier ensemble, on ne peut pas ne pas se connaître. Aussi est-ce avec une tranquille assurance que je puis certifier ceci: jamais il n’a failli à l’image de l’homme exceptionnel que ses fidèles ont gardée de lui. Il savait sans préoccupations personnelles déceler où était le bien de ceux qu’il voulait servir. Il ne flattait pas, il savait tenir un langage ferme et vrai quand il entrevoyait où et comment il fallait s’orienter pour assurer le bonheur et la liberté de son peuple et je l’entendais volontiers reprendre à son compte les paroles du vieux Caton au peuple romain qui s’égarait: “Je voudrais vous être agréable, je souhaiterais vous faire plaisir, mais je préfère essayer de vous sauver.”

The translation is a bit rough, because it is mine:

Leopold III with son, Baudouin

I was able to see transpire, through the limpidity of his marvelous gaze, the simplicity and warmth of his words, all the grandeur of one of our fellow men who is placed so far above us. The language of the believer to the priest, of the confidant to the friend, when we searched together for answers to tormenting questions, when we had, so often, the occasion to pray together, it is impossible not to know one another. So it is with a tranquil assurance that I can certify this: never did he fail to live up to the image of the exceptional man his faithful followers kept of him. He was able, without personal preoccupations, to discern where the good of those he wished to serve lay. Henever flattered, he knew how to use a firm and true language when he saw where and how he had to orient himself to ensure the happiness and liberty of his people and I used to hear him take up, for his own, the words of Cato the Elder to the Roman people who were going astray: “I would like to be agreeable to you, I would like to please you, but I prefer to try to save you.” (Quoted by Jean Cleeremans in Léopold III, sa famille, son peuple sous l’occupation, 1987, p. 16)

I bring this quote to you from The Cross of Laeken because it so reminds me of the plain-spoken direct and sincere manner which I so admire in King Baudouin. One can say without doubt it was a direct reflection of the deep character and sincere religious faith of his father, Leopold III, who suffered great difficulties in his life and experienced unjust attacks to his character and leadership. He was a good man, and that certainly carried through in his worthy son, Baudouin.


Blog Origins

Hands holding sapling in soilI’ve always been a casual student of royal history and particularly certain families which spark my interest. Recently I’ve been philosophically reflecting upon biblical and historical teachings on righteousness.  There are some people that truly seem to live out Romans 6 as slaves to sin, but King Baudouin of Belgium certainly wasn’t one. He was a slave to righteousness. God reckoned him righteous and he was, indeed, a righteous man. And, when it came time to choose his queen, he likewise chose a righteous woman. This is where two of my interests intersected. The more I studied Baudouin and Fabiola, the more I was inspired by their lives, their words, their smiles. I had some rather good (I hope you agree) posts on some royal forums and didn’t want to lose track of any of that information, so I decided to start this blog. There is a companion YouTube Playlist and Pinterest board where I try to bring something NEW, not just the same pictures and the same subjective ideas. I hope you enjoy this blog. It is meant to inspire as I have been inspired by these two righteous souls.

King Baudouin – Champion for Life

I was convicted by the Lord to speak out on life issues after the 1) horrible Gosnell case became known; 2) 40th Anniversary of Legalized Abortion in the USA; 3) President Obama was a keynote speaker for Planned Parenthood. This trifecta of darkness disheartened me so much I felt I should see what I could do personally and what my church was doing. I feel especially close to the issue as so many millions of my Generation X were killed in this unspeakable wicked act; I could no longer remain silent.

In my dismay about where abortion has brought us, I stumbled across the story of King Baudouin I of Belgium, who I’m so sorry to say died in 1993 – way too early. In 1990 when Belgium was presented with a law legalizing abortion, Baudouin (an amazing Christian along with his wife, Fabiola) refused to give royal ascent by his signature. He even had to mount a campaign asking if it was just for the King to be the only Belgian not permitted to act in accordance with his conscience. A political maneuver was devised by the Prime Minister to declare the King unable to rule, have the governing body act in his stead to give ascent and then declare him again able to rule. An albeit awkward yet effective device, no doubt.

Even Belgians who were for the law respected his resolute adherence to his deep faith. Many people have incorrectly attributed his refusal to the tragedy of five miscarriages suffered by his wife which left them childless, but that is not the reason at all, although that is heartbreaking given the beautiful nature and faith of this couple. No, the reason for this was he absolutely believed that life is to be cherished from beginning to end and that each life has value.


Further Reading>>
Belgium Approves Measure Allowing Doctors to Euthanize Children 
Opinion: Belgium’s experience with euthanasia teaches bitter lessons or PDF

King Baudouin knew this implicitly. He had declared, “The child, because of his lack of physical and intellectual maturity, needs special protection, special care, especially legal protection before as well as after birth.” There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that King Baudouin would have been equally appalled by the notion of ending the gift of life through euthanasia, and the very notion of doing so to a living child would have been as unthinkable to him then as it should be to us today.

In the Evangelium vitæ n. 62 of Pope John Paul II, he writes, “No circumstance, no purpose, no law whatsoever can ever make licit an act which is intrinsically illicit, since it is contrary to the Law of God which is written in every human heart, knowable by reason itself, and proclaimed by the Church.”

You know, the preeminent children’s hospital in Brussels is the Queen Fabiola Children’s University Hospital. What cruel twist of human failing would introduce the criminality of such an illicit act in an institution named for a devout outstanding Christian woman, one who lost five babies herself.

Sadly, the new monarch, King Philippe, so close to his uncle Baudouin and partially raised by Baudouin and Fabiola, had an outstanding opportunity to reflect the same brave dedication to faith shown by his uncle by refusing to provide royal ascent to the child euthanasia law, but did not act in kind. It would have been dramatic bookends, bracketing just how far down the path we’ve strayed from a basic respect for human life.

King Baudouin was a champion of life and still inspires us today to reach out in faith and love for the dignity and value of each life.