Prince Maximilian of Saxony (1870–1951)

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Prince Maximilian
Max 5208803649 4b9221e494 o.jpg
Full name
German: Maximilian Wilhelm August Albert Karl Gregor Odo
House House of Wettin
Father George of Saxony
Mother Infanta Maria Anna of Portugal
Born (1870-11-17)17 November 1870
Died 12 January 1951(1951-01-12) (aged 80)
Religion Roman Catholicism

Prince Maximilian of Saxony, Duke of Saxony (German: Prinz Maximilian von Sachsen, Herzog zu Sachsen; 17 November 1870 – 12 January 1951) was a member of the Albertine branch of the House of Wettin and a Roman Catholic priest.


Maximilian Wilhelm August Albert Karl Gregor Odo of Saxony was born in Dresden, capital of the Kingdom of Saxony, the seventh of the eight children of Prince George of Saxony and his wife Infanta Maria Anna of Portugal. He was born with the titles Prince and Duke of Saxony, with the style Royal Highness. Amongst his siblings was the last Saxon king Frederick Augustus III and Princess Maria Josepha mother of the last Austrian Emperor Charles I.

On 26 July 1896, despite initial opposition from his family, Prince Maximilian entered into the church and was ordained as a priest.[1][2] He renounced his claim to the throne of Saxony on entering the priesthood and also expressed a determination to refuse the apanage that he was entitled to from the Kingdom of Saxony.[3][4]


In January 1899 Prince Maximilian became a Doctor of Theology after gaining the degree from the University of Würzburg.[4] After working as a pastor at a church in Nuremberg, on 21 August 1900 Prince Maximilian accepted the post of Professor of canonical law at the University of Fribourg.[5][6]

In late 1910 Prince Maximilian caused controversy by publishing an article in an ecclesiastical periodical on the union of the Eastern and Roman churches. Prince Maximilian argued that the six dogmas should be waived in order to facilitate the return of the Eastern to the Roman Catholic Church.[7] As a result of the article he went to see Pope Pius X to explain his article, and as a result of meeting the pope he agreed to retract the article and he signed a declaration acknowledging errors in his article and it was announced that he had renewed his full and unconditional adhesion to the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church.[8][9]


During the First World War Prince Maximilian served as an Army chaplain and in this capacity he attended to wounded soldiers, gave unction to the dying and said mass while under shell fire. He was liked by the French prisoners of war as he also dedicated himself to their welfare. He also used the international bureau in Geneva to send word to the families of the French prisoners.[10]

Following the German Empire's defeat in the war his brother King Frederick Augustus III was forced to abdicate as the monarchy was abolished. Prince Maximilian died in Fribourg, Switzerland.



  1. ^ "A Prince Ordained A Priest". New York Times. 1896-07-26. p. 1. 
  2. ^ "Knowledge Means Peace". New York Times. 1896-07-19. p. 4. 
  3. ^ "Prince as Priest in London". The West Australian. 1896-10-23. p. 9. 
  4. ^ a b "An Unruly German Press". New York Times. 1899-01-29. p. 17. 
  5. ^ "Object to Prince-Evangelist". New York Times. 1900-11-13. p. 5. 
  6. ^ "Saxon Prince a Professor". New York Times. 1900-08-22. p. 6. 
  7. ^ "Pope To Eastern Churches". New York Times. 1911-01-03. p. 8. 
  8. ^ "Prince Submits to the Pope". New York Times. 1910-12-28. p. 5. 
  9. ^ "Prince Maximilian Recants". New York Times. 1910-12-31. p. 5. 
  10. ^ "Peace of the World". New York Times. 1915-02-28. p. SM3.