St Charles of Mount Argus, C.

img-saint-charles-of-mount-argusBorn on the 11th of December in 1821 in Munstergeleen, Limburg, Netherlands as Joannes Andreas Houben. Charles made his first Communion at the age of 13. He studied at Sittard; he was a slow learner and very dedicated student. In 1840, Charles enlisted in the military and served for five years.

He joined the Passionists at Ere, Belgium on the 5th of November 1845, taking the name Charles of Saint Andrew. Ordained on the 21st of December, 1850. Assigned to England in 1852 where he often worked with Irish immigrants fleeing the Potato Famine. Transferred on 6th of July 1857, to a Mount Argus retreat house near Dublin, Ireland. Except for a brief trip to England in 1866, he spent the rest of his remaining 36 years there.

He invigorated the area faithful and was a noted healer. When word of his holiness spread, carriages came to fetch him to the bed side of the sick, and he daily received mounds of mail with prayer requests. The whole city, including non-Catholics, recognized the holiness of Father Charles and mourned his passing on the 5th of January 1893 at Mount Argus, Ireland from an infected leg wound received in a carriage accident.


St Charles is buried at Mount Argus, Dublin, Ireland. He was venerated in 1979 and in 1988 beatified by Pope John Paul II. Finally canonized by Pope Benedict XVI at St Peter’s Basilica, Rome, Italy on the 3rd of June 2007.

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