It has been announced by his Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, that several Beati will be canonized on June 3, 2007. Among them will be Blessed Charles Houben of Mount Argus [1821-1893], a Passionist priest of high regard in the Province of St. Patrick (Ireland and Scotland). The Passionist Historical Archives would like to take a moment to acknowledge the contributions made throughout the life of this kind soul.

Sean Peragine (with information from

John Andrew Houben was born in 1821, the fourth of eleven children born into a working class family living in the south-east end of Holland. By 1845, he had made his decision to join the Passionist Order. It was at the novitiate at Ere in Belgium where he received the name Charles. He was ordained on December 21, 1850.

Charles was assigned to Mount Argus in Dublin, Ireland when he was 35. He found that the struggles of the Irish people—”my people,” as he called them—who suffered through the Famine yet remained loyal to their faith, resonated deeply with the compassion in his heart. It was there he fostered his gift for comforting the sick and became renowned as a healer. He was revered for his comforting service, and some seemingly miraculous recoveries were even attributed to his blessings.

Charles passed away in January 1893. Pope John Paul II declared him Venerable in 1979 and later beatified him in 1988. Even now, more than a century since his passing, many troubled persons still seek comfort in the healing name of Blessed Charles of Mount Argus.

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