Skip to content

Charles of St. Andrew Bio - To Be Canonized on Sunday

VATICAN CITY, MAY 30, 2007 (Zenit) - Here is an adapted version of a biography of Father Charles of St. Andrew (1821-1893), which was published by the Holy See. Benedict XVI will canonize the priest on Sunday.

* * *

Father Charles of St. Andrew, known in secular life as John Andrew Houben, was born on Dec. 11, 1821, in Munstergeleen, in the diocese of Ruremond, Holland, the fourth of 11 children.

He was baptized the same day with the name John Andrew. He received his first Communion on April 26, 1835, and the sacrament of confirmation on June 28 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, Passionist, and he entered the novitiate in the Belgium city of Ere, near Tournai on Nov. 5, 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 Dec. 10, 1850. At the conclusion of his studies, he was ordained a priest by Bishop Labis, the ordinary of Tournai.

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 neighboring 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 pious priest, outstanding in exercising obedience, poverty, humility and simplicity and to an even greater degree, devotion to the Passion of the Lord.

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

The fame of his virtue was such that crowds of people would gather at the monastery to seek his blessing. There are also numerous testimonies to the 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, in 1866, to give him time to 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.

He returned to Dublin in 1874 where he remained until his death on Jan. 5, 1893.

During his funeral, there was proof of the popular devotion that had surrounded him throughout his life. A newspaper of the time reported: "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."

The cause of his beatification and canonization was introduced on Nov. 13, 1935, and on Oct. 16, 1988, Pope John Paul II proceeded with the beatification.

The miracle that led to his canonization was obtained through his intercession on behalf of Adolf Dormans of Munstergeleen, the birthplace of the blessed.

The diocesan inquiry "super miro" was also undertaken in the Diocese of Roermond, Holland, from Nov. 6, 2002, until Feb. 19, 2003, at which time the validity of the miracle was recognized by a decree from the Congregation for Saints' Causes on Nov. 7, 2003.

The medical consultation board was convoked on Nov. 24, 2005, and following the investigation of the matter, the members unanimously expressed that the cure of Dormans of "perforated, gangrenous appendicitis with generalized peritonitis that was multi-organically compromising and included extenuating and prolonged agony" was "not scientifically explainable."

The theologian consultors, in the particular congress of Feb. 21, 2006, and the Ordinary Congregation of Cardinals and Bishops of Dec. 12, 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 last Dec. 21.

[Text adapted]


Catholic Online CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000



Saint, Charles of St. Andrew, Bio, Canonize, Houben, Holland

More Catholic PRWire

Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718

A Recession Antidote
Randy Hain

Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

The Why of Jesus' Death: A Pauline Perspective
Jerom Paul

A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell

My Dad
JoMarie Grinkiewicz

Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell

Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Catholic Online

Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Catholic Online

Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
Catholic Online

State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Catholic Online

Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
Catholic Online

2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Catholic Online

Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Catholic Online

Franchising to Evangelize
Catholic Online

Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Catholic Online

Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Catholic Online

Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Catholic Online

Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Catholic Online

Full Circle
Robert Gieb

Three words to a deeper faith
Paul Sposite

Relections for Lent 2009
chris anthony

Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell

World Food Program Director on Lent
Catholic Online

Moral Clarity

Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Catholic Online

A Prayer for Monaco: Remembering the Faith Legacy of Prince Rainier III & Princess Grace and Contemplating the Moral Challenges of Prince Albert II
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe

Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Sally Connolly

Glimpse of Me
Sarah Reinhard

The 3 stages of life
Michele Szekely

Sex and the Married Woman
Cheryl Dickow

A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Cheryl Dickow

Modernity & Morality
Dan Shea

Just a Minute
Sarah Reinhard

Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Hugh McNichol

Edging God Out
Paul Sposite

Burying a St. Joseph Statue
Cheryl Dickow

George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Catholic Online

Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell

Action Changes Things: Teaching our Kids about Community Service
Lisa Hendey

Easter... A Way of Life
Paul Spoisite

Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Hugh McNichol

Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Hugh McNichol

Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Catholic Online

Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Catholic Online

Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Catholic Online

Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Catholic Online

Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Catholic Online

Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
Catholic Online

Holy Saturday...anticipation!
Hugh McNichol

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.