Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Blessed Umberto III

Today, March 4, is the feast day of Blessed Count Umberto III of the House of Savoy. Monarchici in Rete has a short bio on him here. Blessed Umberto III had wanted to go into a monastery rather than be a prince but the duties and responsibilities of the secular life prevented this. Putting duty to his people and the House of Savoy before his own happiness, he set aside his plans for the religious life and entered the rough-and-tumble world of Medieval European politics. It was his duty to continue the Savoy family line but he had a hard time at it. His first wife died young, his second marriage ended in divorce and at that point, Umberto III decided he had done all that he could do and retired to a Carthusian monastery. However, his subjects, his nobles and other authorities begged him to return to his secular duty and so he finally did so, marrying again but having only two daughters. Once again he wished to give up and return to the monastery but again he was prevailed upon to try again and finally, on his fourth wife (his third died) he had a son who eventually succeeded him to leadership of the House of Savoy. His was a life of sacrifice, sacrificing personal happiness for royal duty -back when that sort of thing was still appreciated.

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