SAINT CHARLES OF MOUNT ARGUS
Saint Charles of Mount Argus was born John Andrew Houben on December 11th, 1821 in the village of Munstergeleen, Holland. In 1841, he was enrolled for military service and while in the army, he heard of the Passionists and decided to join them. With his military service completed in 1845, Andrew joined the Passionists at Ere, in Belgium. He was ordained on December 21st, 1850 in Tournai, and in 1852 he was sent to England where he first encountered the Irish who were emigrating in the wake of the Famine. He was transferred to Ireland and on July 9th, 1857, the Feast of Our Lady, Mother of Holy Hope, he arrived at the newly-founded monastery of Mount Argus in Dublin.
Fr. Charles (the name that he took on his profession) was not a good preacher but excelled in the confessional and in comforting the sick. His gift of healing the sick is most clearly remembered. As many as 300 people a day came to be blessed by him. Fr. Charles was transferred to England in 1866, and remained there for eight years before returning to Ireland, where he would stay for the rest of his life.
The daily pilgrimage of sick and distressed people resumed almost immediately on his return. During the last years of his life, he endured many trials; his family in Holland were dying and old injuries returned to plague him. Towards the end of 1892, it was obvious that his life was coming to an end. He said his last Mass on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. At 5:30am on January 5th, 1893, he died.
His remains were laid to rest in the cemetery adjoining the Monastery and Church at Mount Argus and his grave quickly became a place of pilgrimage. In 1949, his remains were moved to a new tomb inside the church and this shrine became a place of prayer. Father Charles was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1988, and on June 3rd, 2007, he was canonised by Pope Benedict XVI.
Father Charles is a saint for the poor, for the sick, for immigrants and for emigrants, a saint for everyone. The Feast of Saint Charles of Mount Argus is celebrated on January 5th.
A Perpetual Novena to St. Charles is celebrated in St. Mungo’s every Saturday at the 12.15pm Mass.
Novena Prayers to St. Charles of Mount Argus
O God our Father, we thank you for your care of each one of us. Thank you for sending your Son, Jesus, to share in our weak human nature. He suffered as we do, and He is gone before us to prepare a place for us in Heaven where we hope to be with you forever. He promised to be with us every day, and to give us all we ask for in His name,
Father, in the name of Jesus we ask you: To give hope to those who have lost hope in God, and who simply don't know what to believe.
Let them Hope again
To give hope to the sick and all who
cannot live their lives as they would like to.
May they Receive Hope and Healing.
To give hope to parents and teachers who are entrusted with the care of the young.
May they never lose heart even when their best efforts meet with failure.
To give hope to sinners.
Bring them through repentance to a new way of looking at things.
To give hope to the bereaved who are face to face with death.
Let them entrust their loved ones to your care.
Your special intention for the Novena…
Fill us all with a joyful hope
Mary, Mother of Hope, pray for us
Saint Charles of Mt. Argus, pray for us.