Posted in , Saint Charles on 12 December, 2006|
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I returned from Dublin this evening. We haven’t heard anything yet from their Eminences and Lordships (U.S. = Excellencies) about Blessed Charles (Houben)’s “miracle” (-I suppose I should use inverted commas until it is totally and definitively approved). In the meantime, here are some Blessed Charles photographs I took a while ago.
This is the main staircase of the monastery; if you turn right at the top of the right-hand flight of stairs, you are just beside Blessed Charles’ room.
Here is the door of his room; Charles went in and out of here many times each day, going downstairs to the parlour or the church to bless the hundreds of sick people who came to Mount Argus seeking his blessing.
The brass plaque on the door records his death on 5 January 1893.
Here you can see the interior of his cell, which is now used as a chapel. The picture above the altar was given to the community in thanksgiving for a cure which took place during Charles’ lifetime.
The altar in Blessed Charles’ cell was previously in the former retreatants’ chapel, which later became a classroom for the theology students; this room is very near Charles’ cell. He offered his last Mass in the retreatants’ chapel, about four weeks before he died. The plaque on the altar states: On this Altar Fr Charles of St Andrew (Houben) celebrated Mass for the last time, 8th December 1892.
This picture shows the top floor corridor, with Charles’ cell on the right (with the door open). At the end of the corridor is the old Choir (or community chapel).
The community chapel was moved down to the first floor about thirty years ago. This beautifully panelled room is now used by the community for chapters and conferences. You might be able to see a door at the extreme left of the picture; this leads to the choir sacristy.
From the choir sacristy, there is a sort of “bridge”, a narrow corridor leading to the bell tower and, from there, to the church. After the morning meditation, Charles would go to the refectory to take his coffee and bread; then he would return to the choir and go through the sacristy to this hidden-away corner where he could pray alone and undisturbed, but still near the Blessed Sacrament.
Finally, a picture of the altar of Saint Mary Magdalen (the Magdalen Altar) in the church, where Charles usually celebrated Mass.
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