Portsmouth Diocese E-News

Blessed John Henry Newman



9th October 2017


Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890) was a great intellectual genius, thoroughly English, a poet and controversialist, a Christian apologist, an historian, a gentleman and a truly holy man. As an Anglican (1801-45), he helped the Church of England recover and reassess its Catholic heritage. Once received into the Catholic Church in 1845, as a Catholic (1845-90), he stood for the principles of historical development and for moderation against Ultramontanism. Newman's thought has had a profound influence upon both the Anglican and Roman Catholic communions. At Vatican II, Bishop Butler said that he felt “Newman's spirit brooding over the Council.” Indeed, Newman’s ideas are still very much current.


Newman's motto was cor ad cor loquitur (“heart speaks to heart”). His epitaph reads ex umbris et imaginibus in veritatem ("from shadows and images into the truth"). In an obituary, the Daily Telegraph said he was “one of the most distinguished and highly gifted Englishmen of the nineteenth century.” At his death, twenty thousand people gathered around the Oratory in Birmingham. Today, Newman's influence on contemporary theology continues to grow.


Let us pray for his canonisation.


God our Father,

your servant John Henry Newman upheld the faith

by his teaching and example.

May his loyalty to Christ and the Church,

his love of the Immaculate Mother of God,

and his compassion for the perplexed

give guidance to Christian people today.

We beg you to grant the favours we ask through his intercession,

so that his holiness may be recognised by all

and the Church may proclaim him a saint.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.






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