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Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2494

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Pope Francis to canonise Cardinal John Henry Newman in October

Pope Francis will canonise Cardinal John Henry Newman on October 13, the Vatican has announced.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, welcomed the announcement as a “moment of great pride”.

“On Friday it was the feast of the Sacred Heart and we held a mass for the priests of England and Wales,” Cardinal Nichols said.

“Foremost in our minds was the declaration of a saint who was a priest here. John Henry Newman is known for many great qualities, but we remember him particularly for the kindness and compassion of his ministry to the people of Birmingham.

“At his death they turned out in their thousands to salute a much loved priest on his funeral procession from Birmingham to Rednal.”

Fr Ignatius Harrison, Provost of the Birmingham Oratory which was founded by Newman in 1849, said that “Newman’s lifelong success in bringing others to Christ shows us that the apostolate of Christian friendship achieves much more by attracting people to the Lord than by aggressive polemic”.

“Newman’s long and incremental spiritual pilgrimage shows us that God leads us to Himself step by step, in ways that He customises to our individual needs, and in His own good time.”

The explicable healing of a young woman in America from life-threatening complications in her pregnancy was confirmed as the second miracle required to recognise Blessed John Henry as a saint.

The woman, a law graduate from the Archdiocese of Chicago, prayed for intercession of the Victorian cardinal after watching a film about him on EWTN and was instantly cured of her condition.

Blessed John Henry was beatified in 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI in Cofton Park, Birmingham, following the healing of Jack Sullivan, a deacon from Boston, America, from a spinal condition which left him “bent double”.

The London-born cardinal was an esteemed 19th century Anglican theologian who founded the Oxford Movement to try to return the Church of England to its Catholic roots before he converted to the Catholic faith.

He died in Birmingham in 1890, aged 89, and more than 15,000 people lined the streets for his funeral procession to pay tribute to him.

Scholars believe he was years ahead of his time in his views of the Catholic Church and her teachings.

He will become the first English saint since 1970, when Pope St Paul VI canonised 40 martyrs of the Reformation, and the first British saint since 1976 when the same pope canonised St John Ogilvie, a Scottish Jesuit martyr.

The other blesseds to be canonised alongside Newman are Giuseppina Vannini, Mariam Thresia Chiramel Mankidiyan, Irmã Dulce Pontes and Marguerite Bays.