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August 4, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — A couple weeks ago, I had the great pleasure of sitting down with my good friend Alexander Tschugguel for the “Love and reverence to Our Lord: Let’s always receive Holy Communion on the tongue” conference.

It was an amazing conference I was happy to be a part of. If you haven’t been able to watch it yet, click here to watch it in full.

Because Alexander is Austrian, I wanted to ask him about the famous Habsburg dynasty that ruled Europe for so many centuries. We also talked about the devotion in his country to the Blessed Sacrament and how he himself receives Communion.

“As Austrians, especially traditional Catholic Austrians, we all have a great devotion to the House of Habsburg itself. So it's a great honor to be able to speak a little bit about this,” he said.

He proceeded to tell me a remarkable story about King Rudolf, the first Habsburg to be named king of the Holy Roman Empire. He said that King Rudolf gave his horse to a priest who was on his way to administer the Eucharist to someone who was about to die. The priest wanted to return the horse to the king but he said he was not worthy to ride it because it had carried Our Lord. 

“This story shows which ideals were carried through the centuries by this family,” Alexander said.

He also shared a story about how Blessed Emperor Karl of Austria received Holy Communion on his deathbed. Alexander also went into detail with other examples of Catholic rulers in Austria and Europe. 

“In every generation, there was someone with at least tried to be a little bit more faithful than…what the average was.”

He commented that the lives of his countrymen show that “it is possible to maintain the faith, even though everyone wants to abolish it.”

Alexander also said that when he was converting to Catholicism he was fortunate to have a conservative priest teach him to only receive Holy Communion on the tongue.

“Since becoming a Catholic in 2009, I never received communion any other way than kneeling on the tongue.”

Alexander, you may recall, was stricken with the coronavirus several months ago. He said that a priest gave him Communion on the tongue and that the priest did not contract the virus.

Alexander recounted how in the past priests in Europe found creative ways to administer the Eucharist during times of plagues, but never to the point of giving Communion on the hand.

The John-Henry Westen Show is available by video on the show’s YouTube channel and right here on my LifeSite blog.

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John-Henry is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of He and his wife Dianne and their eight children live in the Ottawa Valley in Ontario, Canada.

He has spoken at conferences and retreats, and appeared on radio and television throughout North America, Europe and Asia. John-Henry founded the Rome Life Forum an annual strategy meeting for pro-life leaders worldwide. He co-founded Voice of the Family and serves on the executive of the Canadian National March for Life Committee, and the annual National Pro-Life Youth Conference.

He is a consultant to Canada’s largest pro-life organization Campaign Life Coalition, and serves on the executive of the Ontario branch of the organization.  He has run three times for political office in the province of Ontario representing the Family Coalition Party.

John-Henry earned an MA from the University of Toronto in School and Child Clinical Psychology and an Honours BA from York University in Psychology.


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