Poet to Be Canonised – Poetry News July 2nd

Today on My Poetic Side we take a look at Blessed John Henry Newman the Catholic cardinal, theologian and poet who is to be canonised in October by the Pope.

John Henry Newman to be Canonised

On 13th October 2019, Pope Francis is to declare the British Cardinal, poet and theologian who lived during the 19th-century Blessed John Henry Newman a saint.

During a special Mass which will take place in the Vatican, the British theologian, together with 4 others, all nuns, will be canonised. The date for the Mass during which the ceremony will take place was announced yesterday during the “ordinary public consistory” – that is a meeting where Pope Francis, his cardinals and those who have promoted sainthood cause decide to formally end the process of making someone a saint.

John Henry Newman came into the world in 1801 in London and ordained in 1825 as an Anglican priest. He went on to found the Oxford Movement, who highlighted the roots of Catholicism in the Anglican church.

He had a number of conflicts with bishops from the Anglican church and effectively became a Church of England pariah. This led to him at the age of 44 joining the Catholic Church. In 1846 he became ordained as a Catholic priest. Then, in 1879 he became a cardinal by the hand of Pope Leo XIII– he did not want to be named as a bishop.

John Henry Newman was a Victorian poet and theologian. During his lifetime he faced much widespread prejudice to his chosen faith, in addition to the hostility he faced from the protestant church for turning his back on them. In addition to writing many poems, he also penned a number of hymns. His writings are thought to be among some of the Church-writings of the most importance that have been produced in recent centuries. He wrote about ways in which the Catholic church should consider modernisation, ways which would include a greater degree of involvement from “lay people”. These writings were adopted in the 1960s by the Second Vatican Council.

He passed away in 1890 and the process to make him a saint commenced in 1958. He was beatified in 2010 in Birmingham where he had spent much of his working life by Pope Benedict XVI. In order to be declared a saint, two miracles need to be attributed to a person. The first, which was attributed to Newman in 2010 related to a Catholic deacon who is believed to have recovered from a disorder of the spinal cord. The second miracle was attributed to him earlier this year in February by the Pope and related to a pregnant woman who made a full recovery from internal bleeding during pregnancy following a meeting with the cardinal during which they prayed.

The Blessed John Henry Newman will be the first English person who lived after the 17th century to have been made a saint.

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