Born 21 February 1801, died 11 August 1890,
Beatified 19 September 2010
Baptised in the Church of England, Newman became a Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford in 1822, an Anglican clergyman in 1825 and Vicar of the Oxford University Church in 1828.The Anglican Newman was a pastor of souls, a University teacher, and a student of Christian history and theology. His studies were never purely theoretical. Informed by pastoral experience, they were above all shaped by his insight into the needs of the present.
At school he experienced the attractions of atheism, and all his life showed unusual sympathy with religious doubt. But also at school he underwent a conversion granting him an abiding sense of God’s presence. At the same time, Newman acquired the conviction that Christianity is a doctrinal religion, and that doctrine and religious experience are in harmony, not opposed. In Christianity, Newman believed, mind and heart, dogma and experience, come together. With the doctrinal and sacramental faith unfolding in him from his conversion, Newman desired to revive Christianity for a culture descending into unbelief.
In the Tracts For The Times (1833-1841), Newman and his friends in the ‘Oxford Movement’ addressed the Church of England in the hope that it could be renewed in the Apostolic Faith. Gradually, it dawned on Newman that this was impossible. The Church of England could not embrace the truth Newman taught.
1842-5 were his ‘wilderness’ years, out of the public eye, secluded in prayer and study. Living at Littlemore, outside Oxford, he finally embraced the Catholic Church as the ‘One Fold of Christ’ and was received at Littlemore by Blessed Dominic Barberi on 9th October 1845.
Ordained a Catholic priest in Rome in 1847, Newman returned to England with a mission from the Pope to found Oratories of St Philip Neri, in Birmingham (where he lived until his death) and then in London. As an Oratorian Newman founded a Catholic University in Dublin (1851) and a Catholic School in Birmingham (1859). Working tirelessly, especially for the poor parishioners of the Birmingham Oratory, Newman also conducted an enormous correspondence, helping people all over the world with their religious difficulties. Pastorally and educationally, in his published writings and in his correspondence, Newman’s aim was to describe and arouse the Christian mind. His vocation was to help modern people realise the demands of thinking and acting with the mind of Christ and His Church. In 1879 he was made a Cardinal.
Move towards canonization.
The possibility of formal canonization was mooted several times at Newman’s death. However it was not until 1986, that the task of gathering the necessary proofs was completed. In January 1991 Pope John Paul II declared that John Henry Newman had exercised all of the Christian virtues to a heroic degree, and was henceforth to be known as ‘Venerable’.
For Newman to be declared Blessed, a miracle ascribed to his intercession must be recognised by the Church. On 3 July 2009 Pope Benedict XVI recognized, in fulfillment of this requirement, the healing of Deacon Jack Sullivan in 2001. This decision meant that Newman’s beatification could at last take place.
John Henry Newman was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI on 19 September 2010 during his State Visit to the UK.
Prayers by John Henry Newman
A Daily Prayer (by John Henry Newman)
May He support us all the day long, till the shades lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then in His mercy may He give us a safe lodging, and a holy rest and peace at the last.
Anima Christi (2) Pope John XXII (translated by Blessed John Henry Newman)
Soul of Christ, be my sanctification,
Body of Christ, be my salvation,
Blood of Christ, fill my veins
Water from the side of Christ, wash out my stains.
May Christ’s Passion strengthen me,
O good Jesus, hear me.
In thy wounds I fain would hide,
Never to be parted from thy side.
Guard me when my foes assail me,
Call me when my life shall fail me.
Command me then to come to thee.
That I for all eternity
With thy saints may praise thee.
Be with Me Today, O Lord (by John Henry Newman)
May all I do today begin with you, O Lord.
Plant dreams and hopes within my soul,
revive my tired spirit:
be with me today.May all I do today continue with your help, O Lord.
Be at my side and walk with me:
Be my support today. May all I do today reach far and wide, O Lord.
My thoughts, my work, my life:
make them blessings for your kingdom;
let them go beyond today,O God Today is new unlike any other day,
for God makes each day different.
Today God’s everyday grace falls on my soul like abundant seed,
though I may hardly see it.Today is one of those days Jesus promised to be with me,
a companion on my journey,
And my life today, if I trust him,
has consequences unseen.
My life has a purpose.”I have a mission…
“I am a link in a chain,
a bond of connection between persons.
God has not created me for naught…
Therefore I will trust him.
Whatever, wherever I am, I can never be thrown away.
God does nothing in vain.”He knows what he is about.”
Lead, Kindly Light
(“The Pillar of Cloud”, John Henry Cardinal Newman; last verse Edward Bickersteth, Bishop of Exeter)
Lead, Kindly Light, amidst th’encircling gloom,
Lead Thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home,
Lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene; one step enough for me.
I was not ever thus, nor prayed that Thou
Shouldst lead me on;
I loved to choose and see my path; but now
Lead Thou me on!
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will. Remember not past years!
So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still
Will lead me on.
O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till
The night is gone,
And with the morn those angel faces smile,
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile!
Meantime, along the narrow rugged path,
Thyself hast trod,
Lead, Saviour, lead me home in childlike faith,
Home to my God.
To rest forever after earthly strife
In the calm light of everlasting life.
O My Lord Jesus (John Henry Newman)
O my Lord Jesus,
low as I am in Your all-holy sight, I am strong in You,
strong through Your Immaculate Mother, through Your saints
and thus I can do much for the Church, for the world, for all I love.
Prayer for a Happy Death
(John Henry Cardinal Newman)
Oh, my Lord and Saviour,
support me in that hour in the strong arms of Your Sacraments,
and by the fresh fragrance of Your consolations.
Let the absolving words be said over me,
and the holy oil sign and seal me,
and Your own Body be my food,
and Your Blood my sprinkling;
and let my sweet Mother, Mary, breathe on me,
and my Angel whisper peace to me,
and my glorious Saints smile upon me;
that in them all,
and through them all,
I may receive the gift of perseverance,
and die, as I desire to live,
in Your faith,
in Your Church,
in Your service,
and in Your love. Amen.
Prayer for Christlikeness
(John Henry Cardinal Newman)
Dear Jesus, help me to spread your fragrance everywhere I go;
Flood my soul with your spirit and life;
Penetrate and possess my whole being so completely
That all my life may be only a radiance of yours;
Shine through me and be so in me
That everyone with whom I come into contact
May feel your presence within me.
Let them look up and see no longer me—but only Jesus.
Short visit to the Blessed Sacrament
(John Henry Cardinal Newman,)
I place myself in the presence of Him, in whose Incarnate Presence I am before I place myself there.
I adore You, O my Saviour, present here as God and Man, in Soul and Body, in true Flesh and Blood.
I acknowledge and confess that I kneel before the Sacred Humanity, which was conceived in Mary’s womb, and lay in Mary’s bosom;
which grew up to man’s estate, and by the Sea of Galilee called the Twelve, wrought miracles, and spoke words of wisdom and peace;
which in due season hung on the cross, lay in the tomb, rose from the dead, and now reigns in heaven.
I praise and bless, and give myself wholly to Him, Who is the true Bread of my soul, and my everlasting joy.
Stay With Me (John Henry Newman, Jesus the Light of the Soul)
Stay with me, and then I shall begin to shine as you shine:
so to shine as to be a light to others.
The light, O Jesus, will be all from you.
None of it will be mine.
It will be you who shines through me upon others.
O let me praise you, in the way which you love best,
by shining on all those around me.
Give light to them as well as to me; light them with me, through me.
Teach me to show your praise, your truth, your will.
Make me preach you without preaching; not by words
but by my example and by the catching force, the sympathetic influence, of what I do –
by my visible resemblance to your saints,
and the evident fullness of the love which my heart bears for you.
The Mission of My Life (by John Henry Newman)
God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission. I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next.
I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good; I shall do His work. I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it if I do but keep His commandments.
Therefore, I will trust Him, whatever I am, I can never be thrown away.
If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him, in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him. If I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him.
He does nothing in vain. He knows what He is about. He may take away my friends. He may throw me among strangers. He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide my future from me. Still, He knows what He is about.