John Henry Newman was born in London, February 21, 1801. He went to Oxford at sixteen, gained a scholarship at Trinity College, and after graduation became fellow and tutor of Oriel, then the most alive, intellectually, of the Oxford colleges. He took orders, and in 1828 was appointed vicar of St Mary's, the university church. The next year he began the publication of the "Tracts for the Times," a series of pamphlets which gave a name to the "Tractarian" or "Oxford" Movement for the defence of the "doctrine of apostolical succession and the integrity of the Prayer-Book."
A highly influential figure in the Church of England
John Henry stunned the Anglican community in 1943, when he left his position as vicar of St Mary's to joining the Roman Catholic Church. Then he went to Rome, and on his return introduced into England the Institute of the Oratory. In 1854 he went to Dublin for four years as rector of the new Catholic university, and while there wrote his volume on "The Idea of a University," in which he expounds with wonderful clearness of thought and beauty of language his view of the aim of education.
In 1879 he was created cardinal in recognition of his services to the cause of religion in England, and in 1890 he died. Newman was himself the fine flower of English university training and a master of English prose. Apologia Pro Vita Sua, his spiritual biography, explores the depths and nature of Christianity in a conversational style that has ensured its status as a classic. His honest and passionate defense consists of a personal history of his religious convictions, from earliest memories through the Oxford Movement and his ultimate conversion.
Pope Benedict XVI beatified John Henry Newman on 19th September 2010, during an outdoor Mass in Coventry, Diocese of Birmingham. The Cause of Newman's Canonisation has released the following statement:
The Fathers and many friends of the English Oratories are delighted by the official announcement that our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI will beatify our founder, the Venerable John Henry Newman, in the Archdiocese of Birmingham during his visit to Britain in September. Newman made his home in the Archdiocese for all his adult life, first in Oxford, where he lived as an Anglican and was received into the Catholic Church, and later in Birmingham itself where he founded and worked in the Birmingham Oratory for over forty years.
The Holy Father's life-long devotion to Newman has made a profound contribution to understanding the depth and significance of our founder's legacy. His decision to beatify Newman in person confers a unique blessing upon the English Oratories and all who have drawn inspiration from Newman's life and work.
We joyfully look forward to welcoming the Holy Father, as well as the many pilgrims and visitors who will come to the Beatification ceremony and visit Newman's shrine at the Birmingham Oratory.
We also look forward to the challenging work of preparing for the Beatification in conjunction with Church and civil authorities. We pray that the Beatification will fittingly reflect both Newman's significance for the Universal Church and the honor paid to our Archdiocese and our country by the Holy Father's presence among us.
Very Rev. Richard Duffield
Provost of the Birmingham Oratory
and Actor of the Cause of John Henry Newman
A Marian Prayer
O Mother of Jesus, and my Mother, let me dwell with you,
cling to you and love you with ever-increasing love.
I promise the honor, love and trust of a child.
Give me a mother's protection, for I need your watchful care.
You know better than any other the thoughts and desires of the Sacred Heart.
Keep constantly before my mind the same thoughts, the same desires,
that my heart may be filled with zeal for the interests of the Sacred Heart of your Divine Son. Instill in me a love of all that is noble, that I may no longer be easily turned to selfishness.
Help me, dearest Mother, to acquire the virtues that God wants of me:
to forget myself always, to work solely for him, without fear of sacrifice.
I shall always rely on your help to be what Jesus wants me to be.
I am his; I am yours, my good Mother!
Give me each day your holy and maternal blessing until my last evening on earth,
when your Immaculate Heart will present me to the heart of Jesus in heaven,
there to love and bless you and your divine Son for all eternity.
- Cardinal John Henry Newman
If you have information relevant to the canonization of Blessed John, contact:
The Birmingham Oratory
Birmingham B16 8UE, UNITED KINGDOM