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Houben chapel an international pilgrimage destination

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

MUNSTERGELEEN – The chapel in the parental home of a late Dutch priest has attracted an estimated 250,000 pilgrims in 2007. Father Karel Houben who laboured much of his life in Ireland, was canonized as Saint Charles of Mount Argus by Pope Benedictus XVI in Rome in June 2007. Since that time, the stream of pilgrims to the village in the Sittard-Geleen area has risen by two-thirds and lighted 140,000 candles, the village’s current priest reports. Visitors hail especially from other areas in Limburg and nearby Germany and Belgium, but come from as far as France and Ireland. On each January 5th the municipality of Sittard-Geleen will fly a special Pater Karel-flag. The Dutch priest, who is still revered in Ireland, died on January 5, 1893.