Tag Archives: Oratorian saints and blesseds

Hymn for Blessed John Henry Newman’s feast day

JHN icon.jpgO God, the source of wisdom’s fire,

Who formed the mind of man

In complex and mysterious ways

Within Your loving plan,

We thank You now for calling forth

This priest who praised Your Name

By teaching and exalting you

In words of living flame.


John Henry Newman, England’s son,

Was formed in Oxford’s halls,

Endowed with tow’ring intellect

To answer all the calls

Which Church and University

Gave forth in times of doubt,

A rebirth of the ancient truths

As rain for minds in drought.


He served the Church of England well

With scholarship and grace,

Restoring ancient roots of faith,

Removing error’s trace.

But scorned by leaders of his time,

He left his Oxford home,

In search of kindly, leading light

Which led him on toward Rome.

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Blessed John Henry Newman

Bl John Henry Newman.jpgO God, who bestowed on the priest Blessed John Henry Newman the grace to follow Your kindly light and find peace in Your Church; graciously grant that, through his intercession and example, we may be led out of shadows and images into the fulness of Your truth.


“God has created me to do him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which he has not committed to another” (JH Newman, Meditations on Christian Doctrine).

Blessed John Henry’s feast day today is the anniversary of his conversion to Catholicism and not the date of his birth into eternal life (death), as most of the saints are honored. 

The other Propers for Mass and the Office of Readings for Newman’s feast day can be found here.

Rite of Beatification of John Henry Newman

Many Catholics and Christians of good will are genuinely interested in the formula the Church uses to beatify someone, thus identifying a person a “blessed.” Notice who does/says what in the formula. The following is the rite (with a brief biography) used today by Pope Benedict XVI:

The Archbishop of Birmingham, the Most Reverend Bernard Longley requests that the Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman be beatified
The Vice-Postulator of the Cause for the Canonisation of Cardinal Newman reads a biography of the Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman.

Bl Dominic Barberi.jpgJohn Henry Newman was born in London in 1801. He was for over twenty years an Anglican clergyman and Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford. As a preacher, theologian and leader of the Oxford Movement, he was a prominent figure in the Church of England. His studies of the early Church drew him progressively towards full communion with the Catholic Church. With his companions he withdrew to a life of study and prayer at Littlemore outside Oxford where in 1845 Blessed Dominic Barberi, a Passionist priest, received him into the Catholic Church.

In1847, he was himself ordained priest in Rome and, encouraged by Blessed Pope Pius IX, went on to found the Oratory of St Philip Neri in England. He was a prolific and
influential writer on a variety of subjects, including the development of Christian
doctrine, faith and reason, the true nature of conscience, and university education. In 1879 he was created Cardinal by Pope Leo XIII. Praised for his humility, his life of prayer, his unstinting care of souls and contributions to the intellectual life of the Church, he died in the Birmingham Oratory which he had founded on 11 August 1890.
Declaration of Beatification

JH Newman, Card.jpg

Pope Benedict XVI:
Acceding to the request of our Brother Bernard Longley, Archbishop of Birmingham, with the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, by our apostolic authority we declare that the venerable Servant of God John Henry, Cardinal, Newman, priest of the Congregation of the Oratory, shall henceforth be invoked as Blessed and that his feast shall be celebrated every year of the ninth of October, in the places and according to the norms established by Church law.
In the name oft he Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Acclamation at the Beatification

Praise to the Holiest in the height, and in the depth be praised: in all his words most wonderful, most sure in all his ways. (Cardinal John Henry Newman)
The Archbishop of Birmingham thanks the Holy Father:

Bernard Longley.jpg

Most Holy Father, I, the Ordinary of Birmingham, give heartfelt thanks to your Holiness for having today proclaimed Blessed Henry Newman.
+The Archbishop and the Postulator of the cause of Blessed John Henry Newman receive the kiss of peace from the Holy Father. Procession of reliquary including members of the Newman family and the Oratorians, to greet the Holy Father.

Saint Philip Neri

Neri.jpgOne of the epitaphs of Saint Philip Neri’s is:

“Philip Neri, learned and wise, by sharing the pranks of children himself became a child again.”


Father Frederick Miller’s excellent article ”Saint Philip Neri and the Priesthood” gives a glimpse into this wonderful saint.

On a personal note, I went to Neri’s tomb at the Chiesa Nuova (Rome) yesterday to offer a prayer for a friend, and myself, and found consolation.

Remember, ”To pray well requires the the whole man.”

Newman beatification to happen at Coventry Airport

Britain’s Catholic Herald reports today that John Henry Newman’s beatification ceremony, conducted by the Holy Father himself, will happen at Coventry Airport, while the pope is visiting England and Scotland from 16-19 September 2010. As we all know, the Pope is dispensing himself of his own rule for beatification ceremonies. Newman’s beatification is a great grace not only for the Congregation of the Oratory (Oratorians) but for England and the theological world.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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