All over the world, people are preparing to celebrate the canonisation of Blessed John Henry Newman on Sunday 13th October.
This is a time of special grace for us to join together and form links in a great chain of prayer, where we call upon the soon-to-be-Saint to crown
our prayers with intercession in heaven.
Our churches will be taking part in the Novena with Newman – nine days of prayerful preparation for the canonisation, starting on Friday 4th October and finishing on Saturday 12th October on the eve of the canonisation. The Novena will be prayed each day before Mass from Friday 4 to Saturday 12 October.
If you’d like to pray the novena at home it can be downloaded from here: www.newmancanonisation.com/novena
About Blessed Newman
John Henry Newman (1801-1890) was ordained as a Church of England priest and soon became the leader of the Oxford Movement but converted to Catholicism in 1845. He founded the Oratory in England and was later made a cardinal. When he died at the age of 89, more than 15,000 people lined the streets of Birmingham for his funeral.
Cardinal Newman is widely considered to be one of the most significant figures of the 19th century.
The cause for his sainthood was opened in 1958 and he was declared Venerable by Pope Saint John Paul II in 1991 after his life of ‘heroic virtue’ was recognised. Pope Benedict XVI declared him Blessed in Cofton Park near Birmingham in September 2010, as part of his historic visit to Britain.
The canonisation was made possible by a second miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed John Henry Newman, consisting in the medically inexplicable healing of a pregnant woman with life-threatening complications due to her pregnancy. The cure took place in Chicago, USA, in May 2013. After an initial investigation carried out by the archdiocese of Chicago, it was submitted to the Holy See in 2018, and approved by Pope Francis on 13 February 2019.
During the ceremony for his beatification in 2010, Pope Benedict said that Newman “tells us that our divine Master has assigned a specific task to each one of us, a definite service, committed uniquely to every single person.”
“The definite service to which Blessed John Henry was called,” continued the Pope, “involved applying his keen intellect and his prolific pen to many of the most pressing ‘subjects of the day.’ His insights into the relationship between faith and reason, into the vital place of revealed religion in civilised society, and into the need for a broadly-based and wide-ranging approach to education were not only of profound importance for Victorian England, but continue today to inspire and enlighten many all over the world.”