Irving Francis Houle -Family man who bore the stigmata

 
Irving "Francis" Houle (1925-2009)
Irving “Francis” Houle –A modern day American family man who suffered the Passion of Jesus

-Father of five children from Michigan who received the stigmata in 1993 at age 67, and prayed over tens of thousands of people during the remainder of his lifetime.

The primary source for this article is the book “Francis”–A True Story- Family man suffers the Passion of Jesus daily”  by Father Robert J. Fox, Fatima Family Apostolate, 1999. In more recent editions the book was renamed “A Man Called Francis” and can be purchased here.

Childhood –The first appearance of Jesus
Irving “Francis” Houle was born on Dec. 27, 1925, in Wilson, Michigan, the son of Peter and Lillian (Bennett) Houle. The information quoted below was given to Fr. Robert J. Fox by Reynold, the brother of Francis.
"In our family there were seven; six boys and one girl. Our aunt, a Franciscan nun in Milwaukee, who lived to be 101 years old, had much influence on our family.

"Our parents had the daily rosary in the family each lent. Our father would take us to the rural Church and each Sunday after Mass the children would say the Stations of the Cross with our father. Dad would tell us to say three Our Fathers and three Hail Marys at each station.

"When Irving was six years old, one day a work horse came home about 5 P.M. The horse was tired and thirsty. An older neighbor boy put all four boys, including six year old Francis on that work horse. Grandpa was sitting on the porch and when he noticed it hollered, 'Don't do that'. It was too late. The horse ran to the water hole after working and wanted a drink. Francis fell off onto a railroad tie onto his chest as an older boy jumped from the running horse.

"Our dad came and picked up Irving and handed him over the fence to our older brother. They called the doctor. I remember that Irving was bleeding from the mouth and nose. The skin on his side was rolled, that is, stretched like as by a finger nail had scratched it badly. There was no penetration or tear on the skin. He was unconscious. We thought he was dead.

"They took him in a car to the hospital 17 miles away. It was about 7:00 P.M. or 8:00 P.M. when they arrived at the hospital. The doctor took X-rays and said, 'I don't know if this boy will sur­vive. He has three broken ribs. His lung is punctured by one of these broken ribs. He is hemorrhaging badly. In this condition I do not want to operate tonight. We will see what tomorrow brings. I will do nothing this night. I will leave the ribs as is.'

"Our parents called our aunt who was the nun, Sr. Speciosa, to ask if she would pray for Irving. All the nuns got up and prayed.

"The next morning the doctor was amazed that the ribs were no longer puncturing the lungs and the hemorrhaging had stopped and all was beginning to mend within 12 hours. With a new X-ray they could not see any place where the lungs had been punctured or any of the ribs broken."
[Concerning this, Irving himself told Fr. Robert Fox that about 4 A.M. the next morning he revived and called his mother to ask who was that beautiful man who stood over his crib with his hand upraised. His sudden recovery and the story of the boy was soon related to the bishop who could only conclude, "It must have been Jesus."] 

Reynold continued his account above as follows:
"I remember when we were boys on the farm. Irving had the job of keeping the wood pile near the stove as we burned wood for heat. It seems since he was a boy Irving was a perfec­tionist. He was very particular that no one disturb the order and neatness of his wood pile over which mother had put him in charge. He is still that way. The flowers in his yard, on the cem­etery of our parents, all must be beautiful and in perfect order.

"I remember when we had the family rosary. Irving at the ages 8, 9, 10 would kneel on the floor-register. You know those floor registers they had so some of the heat from the lower room could get to the upper rooms, etc. Irving would kneel on the register while we prayed the rosary to offer up the extra pain to Jesus. When he finally got up you could see the design of the reg­ister in his knees.”

Adult life and Marriage
Irving was raised in Wilson until age 17 and attended Harris High School before moving to Escanaba, Michigan in 1942. He graduated from St. Joseph High School in 1944. The day following his high school graduation, Irving entered the U.S. Army. While serving his country, he received the European, African, Middle Eastern Theater Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, and the American Theater Service Medal. He was honorably discharged on June 20, 1946.

On Nov. 17, 1948, Irving married the former Gail LaChapelle at St. Joseph Church in Escanaba and eventually had five children: Stephen, Peter, John, and twins Matthew and Margo.

Over the years, Irving was employed with Robert’s Shoes, Montgomery Ward, Northern Chemical Supply, Harnischfeger Corporation, and worked for 15 years at EMP as the first plant manager. He was a member of St. Joseph and St. Patrick’s Church and was active with the Knights of Columbus. Irving was a simple hard working man with no college education and no formal religious or theological studies.

Differences between Irving’s mystical graces and mission, and that of most other Catholic mystics
Before relating the mystical graces and heavenly gifts that Irving was purportedly given, this writer found several interesting differences in regards to Irving’s mystical experiences and mission in comparison to the majority of other Catholic mystics throughout history.

-Unlike many mystics, Irving mystically experienced the passion of Jesus every single night of the year, including Christmas eve, Easter Sunday etc.

-Unlike many mystics, Irving was called to a public healing ministry of laying his stigmatized hands upon the people of God.

-Unlike many mystics and most especially stigmatics, Irving was married with children. The majority of stigmatics throughout history have been professed religious, --most of them also being women—with the remaining being primarily lay women and only a scant few ever having been married. This writer personally cannot find another married male stigmatic that has been widely accepted in the Church.

These facts, among others, certainly make Irving’s case of mysticism a very interesting study. And so let us delve a little deeper into the specifics of Irving's spiritual journey. 

Stigmata of Irving "Francis" Houle
The Stigmata –Good Friday, 1993
The date on which Francis first received the stigmata was on Good Friday, April 8, 1993. He was 67 years old. Prior to this, on Ash Wednesday Jesus appeared to Irving all covered in wounds and during this same Lent of 1993, Francis received an interior locution which was a forewarning of what was in store for him.  He does not remember the precise date; only that it was early in Lent.  The message of Jesus was as follows: 
“My beloved son, I am asking you to prepare yourself, my son, to receive my Holy Wounds.  I will be using you in a special way, but I need you to continue to pray.  Place your complete trust in me and do not be afraid of the future, for I will give you the necessary graces to accept this gift.  You will be persecuted, as I was persecuted.”


“I want you to consecrate yourself to my Mother.  That way you will become closer to me.  For she was blessed above all creatures, but she was hidden during her lifetime by the Holy Spirit.  She will look after you and protect you.  I am surrounding you with people whom you can trust when you have your difficulties.  Go to them and I will speak to you through them.  You will know these people by the peace in your heart.  My peace is always with you, my son.   Now go and prepare yourself.”

As mentioned above, Francis first received the stigmata on Good Friday, April 8, 1993. A few weeks later his brother Reynold would witness Irving’s nightly sufferings firsthand, and he testifies as follows:

"In 1993 Francis called me, we have always been very close, and said, 'Reynold, I think it seems I may be the Stigmata.' He came to spend a few days with me.

"On Sunday night, June 6, 1993, Francis and I had gone to bed about 11:30 P.M. Francis had told me that he was getting some bad pains on his head. Francis was sleeping in a single bed in my spare bed room.

"At 12:45 A.M., Francis called and said to me, 'Reyn, do you want to come in and put your hands on my head. You may re­ceive some special graces. I think I am getting the Crowning with Thorns. But now you don't have to if you don't want to.'

"I was awake when he called and had been saying the chap­let of divine mercy. I went into his bed room and it was like he was out of it. He had no idea I was there. I put my hands on his head. I don't think he knew I had my hands on his had or even that I was in the room. It seems I may have been called in to wit­ness what he was going through. Maybe I was meant to record it.

"Francis had told me earlier that what I was seeing meant I was the first one to witness his purification-suffering. You see, at night, after 12:00 A.M. is when the greatest number of sins are committed. The suffering I witnessed started with his head-pains, the crowning of thorns. Then the pain went to his feet. His feet were moving all over in great pain as if he were being crucified through the feet. Then the pain went to his hands. His movements were very slow and he would holler and make mournful sounds.

"By Francis' movements and the moaning in great pain, I could see I was witnessing the sufferings of our Lord when He was crucified. I could see it all step by step. This started that night at 12:50 A.M. (June 7, 1993) and ended at 1:25 A.M. I wit­nessed Francis' purification-suffering. I went to get the camera \ and took pictures which I am sending to you.

"When I first went into his room I placed my hands on his head for about ten minutes. I could tell he was suffering the agony of the crowning of thorns. I noticed that the pain then went down to his feet as he was moving them slowly while he was moaning in great pain.

"After the foot movement stopped, Francis slowly, very slowly, moved his right hand up and stretched it out, as if some­one was guiding his hand to prepare it for the first nailing. There was no sound at this time.

"Then I noticed a lot of finger movements. It looked and sounded like he was being nailed to the Cross. Francis was moan­ing in quick agonizing groans. I could tell he was in terrible pain and I felt so bad. I said to Jesus, 'I am sorry that they did this to you.’

Irving "Francis" Houle mystically suffering the nightly Passion of Jesus
"Then I could see that his hand outstretched had been nailed down. Again his moaning changed to long moans. He was in great agony. Even though I could see that his hands had been nailed down in the suffering Francis was going through, he kept moving his fingers over and over, as in an agony and n:oaning real loud sounds. He did not stop moaning through all this,

"When his left hand moved off his chest very slowly, as if someone was guiding it up to be nailed, it went right past me while I was kneeling near his bed and I thought at first he was reaching for my rosary that was lying there. But all the while it was his left hand stretching out to be nailed.

"Now I don't mean that I myself heard sounds of hammers pounding in big nails. No. But from Francis would come the ir­regular groan or shouts of pain like in the rhythm of nails being driven into his hands. At each pound he would holler in pain. It was so loud, if I had had the windows open I'm sure the neighbors would have heard it and wondered.

"I could tell when both hands were stretched out he had been nailed mystically through pain and suffering. It was a mystical crucifixion, Then all at once, he stopped moaning. I think this is where Jesus died on the Cross because Francis stopped moaning. To note the death of Jesus both arms seem to go limb, his arms fell as if someone was taking him off the Cross. After the arm fell his arm movements were very, very slow.

"Then his arm slowly moved back to his chest as if someone was guiding it back. Finally there were no more movements, no more moaning. He was resting in peace. I think this was right af­ter Jesus was taken off the Cross. His head was turned to the right through it all, just like one sees on crucifixes. It all ended at 1:25 A.M. June 7, 1993.

"The next morning after Francis got up and left his room, I noticed blood on his pillow. I asked him if he had put his hands up to the pillow and he said 'No.' When I went to brush off the pillow I found a small thorn.

"The wound marks on his hands are both on the palm and top of the hands. The inside of palm, high on the hands, looks like nail heads. The top side is wide open. The size of the wounds vary from time to time. It seems that when he prays for people, they bleed more and become bigger. Francis tells me that he goes through 'the purification suffer­ings every night.'

"I understand the wounds bleed especially at special feasts, especially on the top. Inside the palm they bleed especially when he prays over a lot of people."

One of the most prominent things that made Irving different from most mystics of the Church is that Irving mystically and physically underwent the events surrounding the Suffering and Death of Jesus Christ every night throughout the entire year, but even more pronounced on all the Fridays of the year and during Lent, and with an even greater intensity during Holy Week.

As the stigmata wounds persisted, over the years eventually five different doctors were consulted in an effort t to determine the medical cause of the wounds. No medical explanation was ever found and additionally what confounded the medical experts was that despite the ongoing open wounds and bleeding, there was never any infection.  Also of great interest was the fact that the wounds did not heal.

His healing mission –the laying of hands
Another significant difference between Irving and most mystics of the Church is that Irving was called to a public healing ministry. While Irving always strove to remain out of the limelight, his dual “mission” was to suffer for souls AND to lay his hands upon God’s people--especially those who were suffering physically, mentally or spiritually.

Francis mission was to be a victim soul who suffers and prays for others. While he received many messages from Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary, some of which can be read in Fr. Robert J. Fox’s book “Francis”, the messages themselves were for Francis personally, and not intended for the public. Not long after receiving the stigmata the Blessed Virgin Mary gave him an important message containing within it what was to be a important mission for Irving:

On May 2nd, 1993 at 2:15AM Francis received the following message from our Blessed Mother: 
“My dear Son: 
Go out and TOUCH MY CHILDREN.  Your hands are my Son’s hands.  Continue to evangelize.  Bring back many to the Sacrament of Penance and to celebrate the Eucharist.  You are under the protection of me and my Son. Look around. You are surrounded with love, love, love. 
Thank you my son.”


and another on June 8, 1993, 2:00AM : 
“My beloved Son: 
I come to you this night to tell your how much your prayers and suffering have meant to my Son and I.  Your suffering has been long my child.  Your have pleased my Son and I.  We will continue to be close to you….

You are to pray and to use your hands to touch my children.  I am your Mother and I will show you the way.  Just trust in Jesus for He will allow no harm to come to you. 


This is a journey to the Father, who loves you.  Do not falter my son, for I am with you.  You belong to my Son, not to this world.  I bless you this night and ask you to share this blessing with all my children that come to you.  Share my message with them.  Tell them of the love and mercy of my Son.  Pray, all of you, for those who have gone astray. 


I love you and all my children .  Go now, take my words into your heart, for they are nourishment which will help you, my beautiful ones, to grow. I pray with you and for you. 
Your loving mother.”

And other similar messages reputedly from the Blessed Virgin Mary:
....Continue to use your hands and touch my chil­dren .... Tell those who have stayed close to you and prayed with and for you, my Son has given them a special blessing and my angels surround them. Pray for your priests for I love them dearly."

..... Continue to touch my children. Many have come back to my Son. Use your hands. I will show you the way. Trust in Jesus for He will allow no harm to come to you .... " 

Before speaking of Irving's prayer ministry among the faithful, it is very important to point out that he was very humble and was extremely reluctant to engage in any kind of public ministry. However, he was being repeatedly prompted and encouraged by these recurring heavenly messages to not only pray for others, but to “touch” the people , and he soon was convinced that such was God’s will, and thus a public healing ministry began to take shape that eventually touched tens of thousands of people during the remaining 17 years of his life.

Throughout the years, the ‘healing services’ as they were often called, normally took place in Catholic churches, and were normally held after Mass. Irving did not like to speak publicly and would often point out to priests and others that “I was not told to preach to the people; I was only to touch them with my hands.” When pressed to speak, he would briefly talk about his childhood, his parents and family. He would never speak about the stigmata, visions or any of the other supernatural graces that he received.



Stigmata of Irving Francis Houle
Irving's stigmatised hands became extremely hot during prayer services
One of the many interesting facets of Irving's laying of hands upon the faithful and praying for them individually was that soon after he began doing so his hands would become very, very hot, to the extent that it became necessary at each healing service to have a bowl of ice water nearby, so that Irving could occasionally submerge his hands into the freezing water to cool them. While we cannot come to any conclusions as to what was occurring on a spiritual level when Irving was praying for others and laying his hands upon them, we can however surmise that there must have been something special occurring on at least the physical level in what concerns his stigmata, given the intense heat that he would feel in his hands.

Over the years, Irving laid his stigmatized hands upon tens of thousands of people, and many physical and spiritual healings have been documented, along with many other blessings too numerous to count.

The suffering caused by the skeptics
Concerning the ongoing skepticism of certain individuals in regards to his stigmata, Irving stated:
"About the suffering, the physical things, I would say these I can handle, but the persecution, the skeptics, and the sly remarks made - that stays in your heart."

And comparing the physical pain of the stigmata and the nightly experience of undergoing the Lords passion in comparison to the emotional suffering caused by others he stated, "When the pain of the passion is over, it is over until the next night, and I don't worry or think about it. But persecution stays in your heart continuously. That is what I find the hardest. So many beautiful things happen, but there are some trying to destroy all that. That's what hurts."

Irving stated that he told Jesus that ..."there would be no purpose for him to continue his life if he could not suffer for the conversion of sinners and for the salvation of souls.” In short, he believed his two fold mission and purpose in life was suffering for people, and bringing them to Jesus. And soon after receiving the stigmata Irving soon learned that his suffering would not only be physical, but also mental, due to the doubts cast by certain individuals. Yet, the Blessed Mother had warned him early on:

Message of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 2:30 A.M., October 2nd, 1995.
My dear Child:
I come to you my child. I see that you are very tired. I open my arms to you and to those who love and support you. Yes, you have been hurt many times; this will continue because of the love you have for my son Jesus.

You are to suffer the Passion. You said "Yes" to my good Jesus. All hurts, persecution, betrayals and pain is the Pas­sion. You will continue to suffer. This is all for conversions and many will be saved.

Continue to touch my children whom you are led to and to who I lead to you. Continue to pray for those who have gone astray, stay close to my holy priests. You will help them as they will help you.

You must know my Son is at your side and I am always with you. Many graces and blessings have been bestowed on you my child. Use them for the glory of God.

My child, know that you have pleased my Son. I ask you to continue your journey. I bless you, my child.
Your Loving Mother. 

Irving in his own words
In February of 1995, Father Robert J. Fox interviewed Irving for his aforementioned book ““A Man Called Francis”, some excerpts of which are as follows:

Can you give me your age, place of birth, etc.[Asked in 1995]:
“I am 69. I was born December 27, 1925 in Spalding, Michi­gan. My father's name was Peter. My mother's name was Lillian. Our family, oldest to youngest was AI, Gladys, Reynold, Donald, Bob, and myself. Ray was the youngest who passed away about ten years ago. My brother Don passed away a year ago. Our na­tionality is Canadian Frenchmen. On both sides, my parents came from Canada, the Montreal area.”

How long is the passion or suffering?
“It will start about 12:30 A.M. It does last thirty to thirty-five minutes [of intense pain] but then after I don't know if I am in a trance or what, but it seems that all the things I see, the sins and the war etc: is going through my mind. I just have to pray for these suffering people. The sinners and all these things. This can go to 2:30 or 3 A.M. Many times I perspire so much I have to change my pajamas. That one hour and a half or so afterwards its like I am in a different world. “All these things are coming to me; the civil wars, the abortion, all the homeless and the sins that one reads ab.out, the murders, the abused children, the abused women, all this comes to me and I have just such a power to pray, "Please Lord, please Lord, stop all this sin .... " It's a very touching time. I can't explain it, Father.

Irving "Francis" Houle reflecting upon the Passion of Jesus
Do you have pain in your hands at all times?
“No I don't, but I feel my heartbeat in them all of the time. Yes, after midnight, that is when the pain starts. And in my feet, very little. My side, my whole upper body pains; my head - just like someone clapped those thorns on my head. That is how it starts - the thorns in the head. That is when I know this is all going to start every night. Then my whole upper body is just like it is being ripped apart and then my hands. Oh! my hands Father. At times it is unbearable.”

Do you ever think that people are not in grace?
“Yes. How I can tell, I don't know. Especially when I lay hands on someone I almost can feel that or if they are just there to see what it is all about. I have a good idea about people that way.”

Do you fear dying during the suffering after midnight?
“No. I do not fear it. If that is what our good Lord wants, if that is His will, that is fine with me. No I do not have that fear.

Are the wounds always painful when bleeding and when not bleeding?
“Well, the only time I really get the pain is when I am in that passion. Sometimes they bleed and the pain is terrific when I go through the suffering at night. They will bleed Thursday afternoon and Thursday evening. I feel a strong heartbeat. Yes, I then I dislike opening up my fingers because they hurt. But the tremendous pain is only at night.”

And from another interview by Father Robert J. Fox on July 8, 1995:
I asked if he actually sees the very people for whom he has had to suffer, he replied:
"Yes."

Are these people you suffer for teenagers?
"No, not so much teenagers," said Francis, "they are older. I would say mostly in the ages from 25 to 40. Sometimes I have seen a young person."

You actually see the very persons you have been suffering for especially?
"Yes. I see what they look like but I don't recognize who they are."

The opinion of the Catholic Church
While during his lifetime no formal investigation was been carried out by Irving’s home diocese of Marquette, throughout the years the two bishops who presided in turn over the diocese kept a careful watch over the events surrounding him.
On August 10, 1998, Bishop James H. Garland wrote to Father Robert J. Fox concerning Irving:

_________________________________________________
August 10, 1998

DIOCESE OF MARQUETTE MARQUETTE, MICHIGAN 49855
OFFICE OF THE BISHOP

Dear Father Fox:
I was able to have a visit with Irving Houle last month. Your book [First Edition] had something to do with my asking him to talk with me. We had a good visit and I am very much impressed with Irving's faith and humility. I can find no fault with the activity that he is exercising. It seems to be helpful to many people. I was happy to give him my blessing.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

[signed]
Reverend James H. Garland Bishop of Marquette
_______________________________________________

In his turn, Bishop Alexander K. Sample had followed his predecessor, Bishop James H. Garland who retired in 2005, in granting Houle approval to continue his work of healing among the faithful.

Concerning Irving, Bishop Alexander K. Sample said he was impressed by Houle's desire to seek his bishop's blessing of his ministry.
"He was respectful that way, and wanted to be in communion with his bishop," he said. "He wanted to make sure his bishop approved of what he was doing."
"He didn't draw attention to himself," Bishop Sample continued. "He gave the glory to God and not to himself. That was a confirmation for me that he was authentic."
As for the stigmata, the bishop said neither he nor Bishop Garland sought official confirmation of the wounds, satisfied that the man himself was blessing enough for the Diocese of Marquette.
"He clearly touched the lives of many people," Bishop Sample stated. "He helped many people, and that certainly was a blessing to the Church and to our diocese."
In fact, as a great signal of the esteem the diocese officials had for Irving, after his passing his local diocesan newspaper published a lengthly article about him,  which is very rare in diocesan newspapers to publish detailed information concerning the passing of a lay person.  

Irving “Francis” C. Houle passed from this life on Saturday, January 3, 2009 (the first Saturday of the month). He was 83 years old and had borne the wounds of Jesus for over 15 years. He is buried at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery in Escanaba, Michigan. He was one of the very few married laymen in the history of the Church believed to have been a victim soul who bore the stigmata. For sure he was a humble and pious man who was very compassionate towards others. It is this writers hope that perhaps someday the Church will investigate the possibility of a cause for beatification/canonisation, because without a doubt Irving's life shows how sanctity through suffering and sacrifice is not only for professed religious who have consecrated themselves to the religious life, but for everyday laypeople as well.


IRVING’S PRAYER
Oh! my Jesus. My heart is so heavy. Your burden is too much for me to bear.
Please my Jesus, let me take your Cross for a while. Just to let you know I care.
Look upon me, dear Lord with eyes of your mercy. May your healing hands rest upon me.
If it be your will, please give me health, strength and peace.
Amen

For those interested, there is a great video about the life of Irving Francis Houle here.

The primary source for this article is the book “Francis”–A True Story- Family man suffers the Passion of Jesus daily”  by Father Robert J. Fox, Fatima Family Apostolate, 1999. 
In more recent editions, the book was renamed “A Man Called Francis” and can be purchased here and also from My Mothers House religious bookstore in Escanaba:
My Mothers House
Sandy Boucher
2015 - 10th avenue So.
Escanaba, MI  49829
Telephone: 906 786-2116
Email: blessedmothershouse@gmail.com

____________________________________________________________________________
For those interested, relic lockets and relic locket rosaries are available in the Mystics of the Church Gift Store here

16 comments:

Joseph said...

Thanks for posting this. I had not heard of him before. Very interesting!

Anonymous said...

I read Fr. Fox's book about him and it was a interesting read. Throughout the years many people claimed to have received healings when Irving laid his hands upon them and prayed for them.

Slick said...

1. Why wouldn't the Church investigate such a thing? Seems like the Church would have a duty to do so.

2. Any pictures or video of him actually bleeding? I made an image search and found no pictures of him actually bleeding. The pictures available show top layers of skin removed, but no puncture wounds.

3. Were the medical records or statements of doctors regarding the stigmata made public or are we just taking certain people's word for it?

4. Any medical records or doctor's statements about any of the alleged healings? How are these verified?

5. Father Fox also supported and wrote a book about the fraud stigmatist, Father Gino.

Not saying Houle isn't authentic, but there is lots of information missing from this article in order to discern anything. I have often learned that in these cases, that only one side of the story is presented and much of the "facts" of the case is not well documented or well sourced.

Anonymous said...

Slick is quite right. Over seven years ago, before Fr Fox died, he was responsible for helping Houle come to Hanceville, AL. I was present with my family and had Houle pray over us. What I remember now was how humble Houle was and the sweet odor that remained days on my hand that he shook.

Anonymous said...

I was fortunate enough to be aquainted with Frances. He was every bit all the good things said about him. He didnt use his own name, just "Frances" when he came to a parish to pray for healing of the parishioners at the request of the Pastors.

He never received pay of any kind. He was almost shy. He was the real thing and our Bishops DID investigate through their own meeting of him. Thats how we do things up here. We also dont lock our doors and do business with a handshake.

I have an actual photo of his hands. Only his brother was usually allowed to see him in extremis, it is a very private and holy thing to go through, after all. I put names or photos of people I pray for on the photo with good results. I myself would not be writing this if not for him. He was sometimes at My Mothers house in Escanaba to pray with groups
I am well educated and did investigative work as a career...I saw no flaws in him.

George Galloway said...

Francis, now in glory, please continue to touch and pray for us.

Anonymous said...

This is fascinating to me. Where did Rey and Francis live in Escanaba? Does anyone know?

Anonymous said...

They lived next door to me on 7th ave South

Anonymous said...

Francis lived next door to me on 7th ave South

john konnor said...

...God bless you Irving "Francis" Houle..I may have been one of those souls you were called to suffer for...only God knows..but i know with faith hope & charity that you are a blessed servant of God...i hope i stay the course and someday meet you in heaven...amen

A. Mitchell said...

My husband had a heart attack called the ". The widow maker ". He did die for a short but they revived him. He was hooked up to many machines. They said the first thing to be damaged were his kidneys, because he had died. The outlook was not good. I called Escanaba and asked for Francis to pray . At 2 A.M. All the machines he was on went to normal. The nurses removed them and moved him to a regular room!!!!! The next day was a constant flow of workers from all over the hospital coming to see " the miracle man ", as they all called him! Tests were done a few months later to find the damage to his heart and reinforce limitations the doctors had put on him. The tests showed no damage what so ever and he has no limitations at all ! He hunts and fishes and uses his chainsaw and plays golf and sides houses !!! Praise and Thanksgiving, A. Mitchell

Glenn Dallaire said...


Dear A. Mitchell,
Thank you for posting this story of Francis Houle's intercesson on behalf of your husband--thanks be to God for His infinite goodness and mercy!

May God bless you and your loved ones,
Glenn Dallaire

Anonymous said...

To Slick : I met Irving Huole in 2001 hoping for help in my marriage. I traveled to the U.P. at a home where several of us met. Flannel Shirt and blue jeans, very humble man. I did see the wounds on his hands. I didn't pay to be at the gathering. I was curious as well about the wounds being real or not. What was interesting is when he laid hands on me he said "I will see you again". Though at the time I didn't understand what he was talking about, I do believe I actually was one he would bi-locate and pray over due to later sins. There is a book on Irving Huole, that goes into greater depth of Irving Huoles life. I went to Iraq in 2008 with the military. I ended up with heart problems while in Iraq and was medivacced to Walter Reed. While there around the first week of January 2009 Irving Huole came to mind. I jumped on the computer and did a google search. Nothing unusual popped up but at that time I remembered he suffered the Passion for sinners, so I said a short prayer for him. Around the end of January or early February, Irving Huole came to mind again and I did another Google search. This time though what I found was an Obituary on him. He had died between the time I had did my first search in 2009, and my second search. Coincidence? I don't think so. I don't know if Irving ever came in the night to pray over me, but it did seem that when I met him that he knew something about me that I was unaware of. I did take pictures of the wounds on his palms. My marriage ended in divorce, and nothing Miraculous in terms of what I sought ever took place. But then maybe God decided to use Irving's sufferings to save my soul as opposed to my marriage. The Church does not always parade someone out front to the center stage because it knows that Satan has the ability to deceive. Do I believe Satan is deceiving in the case of Irving Huole? No But then again I am just a man. The Church has an obligation to present the truth. Private revelation does need to be verified. If Irvings sufferings were real that will become known. If they were false that too will become known. A tree is known by its fruits. But What is important is not the miracles of the appearance of the wounds but the saving of souls. More than anything the most important part of any Spiritual phenomenon isn't the Miracle or the "Magic" of it but the Fruit that stems from it. What good is it to hand your body over to be burned or give away all you have to the poor if you have not love? What matters in life is our eternal souls and to me Irving was very concerned about those. I only met him once but I don't doubt the reality of his stigmata.

Glenn Dallaire said...


Thanks Anonymous for sharing a bit of your spiritual journey here and also for sharing your experiences with Irving Francis Houle. It was great to read your thoughts and perspective.

May God bless you and your loved ones,
Glenn Dallaire

Terry Saunders said...

I personally know Irving Francis Houle. Irving ministered to me for at least a year while I suffered through a bout with terminal end stage cancer. My story is in the book by Fr. Robert Fox titled A Man Called Francis. There is so much that cannot be made known through the internet. Much information has been delivered to the archives at the Diocese of Marquette. I believe that one day there will be an investigation. There is a prayer that has ecclesial approval, which is used regularly by those who knew Irving. It is an intercessory prayer in the name of Jesus. We humbly await the first miracle our good God makes public through Irving's intercession. Until then, let us remain faithful servants to God the Father, with our Friend and Savior Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit. I pray for all of you. All who go to Heaven are saints, only a few will be declared so by His Church. God's will be done.

Glenn Dallaire said...


Thank you Terry for sharing these comments!

May God bless you and your loved ones,
Glenn Dallaire

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