Posted in QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 5 January – The Loves of St Charles – His family and the Faith

Thought for the Day – 5 January – the Memorial of St Charles of Mount Argus C.P. (1821-1893)

Excerpt from a letter to his brother, Father Peter Joseph Houben
Written at Blessed Paul’s Retreat, Harold’s Cross, Dublin.
20 November 1862.

“My dear Reverend Brother,
I was delighted to hear that you and our brothers and sisters are keeping well, also our uncle, the mayor, (2) and our niece (3).   I too am very well, thank God.   It seems to me that our niece is a very devout and humble girl and I hope that she remembers to pray for me from time to time (child of Mary, would you be willing to say a little prayer for me?) I want to pray for you that you may come to a complete understanding of your state in life.

I have now been away from you for 17 years;  this time has passed so quickly that to me it seems but a moment.   I am very far away from you all but what does it matter how far we are from each other in this life, so long as we are united for all eternity with Jesus and Mary.
I think of you, my brother, everyday during Mass – I think and think again of you, my good Peter Joseph;  also dear Mary Sibyl, Mary Christine, John Matthew, Godfrey, Anne Mary and Mary Helen, my dearest uncle, the mayor and my good niece Mary Philomena. Remember me sometimes in your prayers.   I wish my brother John Matthew and my sister Anne Mary (4) much happiness in married life – my best wishes to their families.   I pray for them, that if God grants them children, they will bring them up to know His peace, have them pray every morning and every night and teach them to recite the rosary in the evening and that the welfare of their souls will be the most important thing in life for them.   We should be thankful to God for having given us such good parents and for our aunts, uncles, etc.

I now find it quite difficult to write and speak in my own native tongue.   Here in Dublin we have built a huge monastery which cost about eight thousand pounds.   The Irish gave us this money;  they are very generous when it comes to their Catholic faith. However, here in the city of Dublin and in the surrounding districts there are also thousands of people who neither go to confession nor make their Easter communion.

With all my heart I implore you to pray for them, to offer your evening rosary for the conversion of so many great sinners;  go to Mass and offer your communions for this intention.   I shudder when I think of how often our Lord is offended in this large city, crucified by serious sins.   Ah, pray that these sinners may turn back to God.   In Dublin and the surrounding districts there are about 300 thousand Catholics and 50 thousand Protestants. 

In our monastery there is a religious, John Joseph Renon from Hoensbrock, who was in London for twelve years; we have a monastery there, too.

…I must finish now. I give my priestly blessing to everyone, let us try to please God in all that we do and suffer and let us think often of the Passion of Christ and the Seven Sorrows of Mary.

My best wishes to my dear uncle J. N. Luyten, the mayor and to all my family and friends.
Your affectionate brother,
Fr Charles Houben, Passionist

St Charles of Mount Argus, Pray for Us!

Letter 5-Notes

1. Summ. p. 333, L.13.
2. Mayor Luyten of Munstergeleen was Charles’ mother’s brother.
3. Mary Philomena Houben, John Peter’s daughter, who was fifteen years of age.
4. Anne Mary had married John Peter Lenssen on 14th January, charles of mount argus pray for us 5 jan 2019


Quote/s of the Day – 5 January – St Charles of Mount Argus C.P. (1821-1893)

Quote/s of the Day – 5 January – Christmas Saturday and the Memorial of St Charles of Mount Argus C.P. (1821-1893)

“The birth of our Lord Jesus Christ
in the stable at Bethlehem is a mystery,
it is a miracle so great,
abounding so much in humility and love,
that it will be wondered at by the angels
and saints in heaven for all eternity.
What can I, a mere man,
give the Divine Redeemer in return for such great
and innumerable blessings-
so great, that they cannot be explained-
which, for so many years, I have received from His mercy?
When I consider this, I feel urged,
to thank God with greater fervour,
to please Him more
and to do and suffer everything willingly,
for His love and for His greater glory.”
(Letter 15-To his brother, Father Peter Joseph Houben.
J. X. P. St Paul’s Retreat, Harold’s Cross, Mount Argus, Dublin. 29th December, 1875)the birth of our lord jesus - st charles of mount argus 5 jan 2019

“I wish you all a happy and holy New Year,
one full of happiness and peace,
may the skies open up and shower down on you
an abundance of graces,
may the Lord keep you safe
from every evil of soul and body
and, when this life is over,
may He lead you to that blessed place
where the years do not end
and happiness and peace are eternal.
These are my wishes for you.”
(Letter 13-To his brother, Father Peter Joseph Houben.
J. X. P. St Joseph’s Retreat, Highgate, London W. 15th January, 1873.)

St Charles of Mount Argus (1821-1893)i wish you all a happy and holy new year - st charles of mount argus 5 jan 2019


One Minute Reflection – 5 January – Christmas Saturday, today’s Gospel John 1:35–42

One Minute Reflection – 5 January – Christmas Saturday, today’s Gospel John 1:35–42
and the Memorial of St John Nepomucene Neumann CSsR (1811-1860)
& St Charles of Mount Argus C.P. (1821-1893)

He brought him to Jesus.  Jesus looked at him and said,
“So you are Simon the son of John? You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter)...John 1:42john 1 42 - he brought him to jesus, jesus looked at him 5 jan 2019.jpg

REFLECTION – “Everyone who breathes, high and low,
educated and ignorant, young and old,
man and woman, has a mission, has a work.
We are not sent into this world for nothing;
we are not born at random;
we are not here, that we may go to bed at night
and get up in the morning, toil for our bread,
eat and drink, laugh and joke,
sin when we have a mind
and reform when we are tired of sinning,
rear a family and die.
God sees every one of us,
He creates every soul . . .
He needs, He deigns to need, every one of us.
He has an end for each of us.
We are all equal in His sight and we are placed
in our different ranks and stations,
not to get what we can out of them for ourselves
but to labour in them for Him.
As Christ has His work, we too have ours –
as He rejoiced to do His work,
we must rejoice in ours also.”

St John Neumann (1811-1860)everyone-who-breathes-st-john-neumann-5-jan-2018

PRAYER – God, our Father, since through the human birth of Your only Son, You began in us the work of redemption, keep us firm in faith and with Christ as the Shepherd of our souls, bring us to the glory You have promised.   Through time, You send us holy men and women, who bring us new light to help us along the sometimes very dark ways of our path, grant that by the prayers of St John Neumann and St Charles of Mount Argus, Your beacons of holiness, we may be guided and assisted to carry our side of the yoke with our Lord and Saviour.   We make our prayer through the Child of Bethlehem and the Holy Spirit, God forever,

st charles of mount argus pray for us no 1. 5 jan 2019


Our Morning Offering – 5 January – St Charles of Mount Argus’s Prayer to Mary

Our Morning Offering – 5 January – Christmas Saturday and the Memorial of St Charles of Mount Argus C.P. (1821-1893)

Most Holy Virgin Mary Oh, my Mother!
By St Charles of Mount Argus

Most Holy Virgin Mary Oh, my Mother!
How sweet it is to come to thy feet,
imploring thy perpetual help!
If earthly mothers cease not to remember their children,
how can thou, the most loving of all mothers, forget me?
Grant then, to me, I implore thee,
thy perpetual help in all my necessities,
in every sorrow and especially in all my temptations.
As we are all thy children,
I ask for thy unceasing help for all who are now suffering.
Help the weak, cure the sick, convert sinners
and console all earthly mothers
who are now weeping over their children.
Open the gates of heaven to those we loved upon earth
and who are now suffering in purgatory.
Obtain for us, dear Mother,
that having earnestly invoked thee on earth,
we may see thee, love thee
and eternally thank thee, hereafter in heaven.
Amenmost holy virgin mary oh my mother by st charles of mount argus 2 -5 jan 2019

Posted in SAINT of the DAY, VATICAN Resources

Saint of the Day – 5 January – St Charles of Mount Argus C.P. (1821-1893)

Saint of the Day – 5 January – St Charles of Mount Argus C.P. (1821-1893) – Religious Passionist Priest, Apostle of Charity, Spiritual guide, Miracle-worker – born Joannes Andreas Houben on 11 December 1821 in the village of Munstergeleen in the Province of Limburg in the Kingdom of the Netherlands and died on 5 January 1893 at Mount Argus, Ireland from an infected leg wound received in a carriage accident.saint_charles_argus

Fr Charles of St Andrew, known in secular life as John Andrew Houben, was born on 11 December 1821 in Munstergeleen, in the diocese of Ruremond (Holland), the fourth of eleven children.   He was baptised the same day with the name John Andrew.   He received his First Communion on 26 April 1835 and the sacrament of Confirmation on 28 June in the same year.   He began his formal education in Sittard and then in Broeksittard.   In 1840 he had to interrupt his studies to enter the military.   It was during this latter period that he first heard about the Congregation of the Passion.   At the end of his military service he completed his studies and requested to be admitted to the Congregation.   He was received by Blessed Dominic Barberi (1792-1849), Passionist and he entered the novitiate in the Belgium city of Ere, near Tournai on 5 November 1845. In December of that same year he was vested with the Passionist religious Habit and was given the name of Charles of St Andrew.   Having completed the canonical year of novitiate he professed First Vows on 10 December 1850.   At the conclusion of his studies he was ordained a priest by Bishop Labis, the ordinary of Tournai.houben

Immediately he was sent to England where the Passionists had founded three monasteries and it was here that, for a period of time, he undertook the ministry of vice-master of novices in the monastery of Broadway.   He also did parochial ministry in the parish of St Wilfred and neighbouring areas until 1856 when he was transferred to the newly established monastery of Mount Argus, on the outskirts of Dublin.

Blessed Charles Houben lived almost the remainder of his life in this retreat and was greatly loved by the Irish people to point that they referred to him,­ a native of Holland, ­ as Father Charles of Mount Argus.   He was a particularly pious priest.   He was outstanding in exercising obedience, in the practice of poverty, humility and simplicity and to an even greater degree, to devotion to the Passion of the Lord.

Due to his poor mastery of the English language, he was never a formal preacher and he never preached missions.   Rather, he very successfully dedicated himself to spiritual direction, especially through the sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession).

The fame of his virtue was such that great crowds of people would gather at the monastery to seek his blessing.   There are also numerous testimonies to the outstanding miraculous cures that he worked to the extent, that even during his lifetime, he was known as a miracle worker.

Precisely because of this fame that extended throughout all of Great Britain as well as in America and Australia that in 1866, in order to afford him some rest, he was transferred to England where he lived for a time in the communities at Broadway, Sutton and London.   There he ministered as usual and there too, inside and outside the monastery, he was sought by the faithful, both Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

He returned to Dublin in 1874 where he remained until his death that took place at dawn on 5 January 1893.

During his very solemn funeral that was attended by people from all of Ireland there was definite proof of the popular devotion that had surrounded him throughout his life.   In a newspaper of the time we read: “Never before has the memory of any man sparked an explosion of religious sentiment and profound veneration as that which we observed in the presence of the mortal remains of Father Charles.”   The Superior of the monastery wrote to his family:  “The people have already declared him a saint.”charlesmtargus

The cause of his Beatification and Canonisation was introduced on 13 November 1935, and on 16 October 1988, His Holiness John Paul II proceeded with the Beatification of the one whom everyone called the saint of Mount Argus.

The miracle that led to his Canonisation was obtained through his intercession on behalf of Mr Adolf Dormans of Munstergeleen, the birthplace of the Blessed.   The diocesan inquiry super miro was also undertaken in the diocese of Roermond (Holland) from 6 November 2002 until 19 February 2003 at which time the validity of the miracle was recognised by a Decree from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints on 7 November 2003.

The medical consulta was convoked on 24 November 2005 and following the investigation of the matter, the members unanimously expressed that the cure of Mr. Dormans of “perforated, gangrenous appendicitis with generalised peritonitis that was multi-organically compromising and included extenuating and prolonged agony” was “not scientifically explainable”.

The theologian consultors, in the particular Congress of 21 February 2006 and the Ordinary Congregation of Cardinals and Bishops of 12 December 2006 also gave their unanimous approval of the supernatural aspect of the said healing.   The Decree concerning the miracle was given in the presence of the Holy Father, Benedict XVI on 21 December 2006…and he was Canonised on 3 June 2007 by Pope Benedict XVI at Saint Peter’s Basilica, Rome, Italy…

During the last years of his life he had many trials.   He was also in failing health, was anxious about death.   His family in Holland were dying.   Old injuries returned to plague him.   Towards the end of 1892, it was obvious that the life of Fr Charles was coming to an end.   He said his last Mass on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception 1892.   Word of his illness spread through the city, crowds gathered to enquire about him.   Just after Christmas he couldn’t eat, lost his sight and was like a living skeleton.   At 5.30 in the morning of the 5th January 1893 he passed peacefully to his Maker.

His body was brought to the Church and lay in state for five days.   Despite heavy snow, thousands filed past his coffin with the police keeping order.   His funeral was said to have been bigger than Parnell’s two years before.   Finally his remains were laid to rest in the cemetery beside Mount Argus Church.   His grave became a place of pilgrimage where people came daily to pray.   When in 1949 his remains were moved inside the Church the Shrine became the place of prayer.   Today people come twice each day to be blest with the Relic of Blessed Charles.SONY DSC

canonisation st charles of mount argusst charles passionists-argus

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 5 January

St John Nepomucene Neumann CSsR (1811-1860) (Memorial)
St John:

Bl Alacrinus of Casamari
St Apollinaris Syncletica
St Cera of Kilkeary
St Charles of Mount Argus C.P. (1821-1893)

Bl Convoyon of Redon
St Deogratias of Carthage
St Dorotheus the Younger
Bl François Peltier
St Gaudentius of Gnesen
St Genoveva Torres Morales
St Gerlac of Valkenburg
Bl Jacques Ledoyen
Bl Joan Grau Bullich
St Kiara
St Lomer of Corbion
Bl Marcelina Darowska
Bl Maria Repetto
Bl Paula of Tuscany
Nl Pierre Tessier
Bl Pietro Bonilli
St Simeon Stylites
St Syncletica
St Talida of Antinoë

Martyrs of Africa – 14 saints: A group of Christians martyred together in Africa, date unknown, exact location unknown. We know nothing more than their names – Acutus, Anastasia, Candidus, Coelifloria, Felix, Honorius, Januaria, Jucundus, Lucianus, Marcus, Petrus, Secundus, Severus and Telesphorus.

Martyrs of Sais: A group of Christians martyred for their faith, but about whom no details have survived. They were martyred by drowning near Sais, Egypt.

Martyrs of Upper Egypt: There were many martyrs who suffered in the persecutions of Diocletian in the Thebaid region. Though we know these atrocities occurred, to the point that witnesses claim the torturers and executioners were exhausted by the work, we do not know the names of the saints and we honour them as a group. Many were beheaded and or burned alive in 303 in Upper Egypt.