John Henry Newman: August 2008 Archives

Today's Catholic News Service reports that Cardinal Newman's body will be moved


LONDON (CNS) -- The British government has agreed to allow the exhumation of the

Thumbnail image for jhnewman.jpgbody of a 19th-century cardinal whose cause for sainthood widely is expected to progress soon to beatification. The Ministry of Justice granted a license to allow undertakers to dig up the body of Cardinal John Henry Newman from a grave in a small cemetery in the suburbs of Birmingham, England, and transfer it to a marble sarcophagus in a church in the city, where it can be venerated by pilgrims. The license was expected to arrive Aug. 11, the 118th anniversary of the cardinal's death in 1890. Approval had been delayed by several months because of a 19th-century law that forbids the transfer of bodies from graves to church tombs. But Sir Suma Chakrabarti, permanent secretary to the Ministry of Justice, finally decided to make a special exception to allow the exhumation to go ahead. Born in London in 1801, Cardinal Newman was an Anglican priest who led the Oxford movement in the 1830s to draw Anglicans to their Catholic roots. He converted to Catholicism at the age of 44 after a succession of clashes with Anglican bishops made him a virtual outcast from the Church of England.


The Venerable Servant of God John Henry Newman


The Venerable Servant of God John Henry Newman was born in London, 21 February

JHN.jpg1801, and died Birmingham, 11 August 1890. As Vicar of Saint Mary's Oxford he exerted a profound spiritual influence on the Church of England. Accepting true faith as professed and taught by the Catholic Church in 1845, he founded Oratories of Saint Philip Neri in Birmingham (1848) and later in London (1849) and was the first rector of the Catholic University in Dublin. Newman was made a Cardinal by Pope Leo XIII in 1879. Through his published writings and private correspondence he created a greater understanding of the Catholic Church and her teachings, helping many persons with their religious difficulties. At his death he was praised for his unworldliness, humility, and prayerful contact with God. Pope John Paul II declared Newman a "Venerable Servant of God" on 22 January 1991. At the 2nd century of the Cardinal's birth Pope John Paul wrote:


For his [Newman] tomb he chose the inscription: Ex umbris et imaginibus in veritatem; and it was clear at the end of his life's journey that Christ was the truth he had found. But Newman's search was shot through with pain. Once he had come to that unshakeable sense of the mission entrusted to him by God, he declared: "Therefore, I will trust Him... If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him, in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him... He does nothing in vain... He may take away my friends. He may throw me among strangers. He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide the future from me. Still, He knows what He is about"  (Meditations and Devotions). All these trials he knew in his life; but rather than diminish or destroy him they paradoxically strengthened his faith in the God who had called him, and confirmed him in the conviction that God "does nothing in vain". In the end, therefore, what shines forth in Newman is the mystery of the Lord's Cross: this was the heart of his mission, the absolute truth which he contemplated, the "kindly light" which led him on.



Prayer for Canonization John Henry Newman

Eternal Father, You led John Henry Newman to follow the kindly light of Truth, and he obediently responded to your heavenly calls at any cost. As writer, preacher, counsellor and educator, as pastor, Oratorian, and servant of the poor he labored to build up your Kingdom.


Grant that through your Vicar on Earth we may hear the words, 'Well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter into the company of the canonized saints.'


May you manifest your Servant's power of intercession by even extraordinary answers to the prayers of the faithful throughout the world. We pray particularly for our intentions in his name and in the name of Jesus Christ your Son our Lord.  Amen.

This Wondrous Glory

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They glorified God in me

I SAW thee once and nought discern'd

     For stranger to admire;

A serious aspect, but it burn'd

     With no unearthly fire.

Again I saw, and I confess'd

     Thy speech was rare and high;

And yet it vex'd my burden'd breast,

     And scared, I knew not why.

I saw once more, and awe-struck gazed

     On face, and form, and air;

God's living glory round thee blazed--

     A Saint--a Saint was there!


John Henry Newman
Off Zante
January 8, 1833



Ducio Transfiguarion.jpgThe Transfiguration

Quicunque Christum quæritis

O YE who seek the Lord,

    Lift up your eyes on high,

For there He doth the Sign accord

    Of His bright majesty.

We see a dazzling sight

    That shall outlive all time,

Older than depth or starry height,

    Limitless and sublime.

'Tis He for Israel's fold

    And heathen tribes decreed,

The King to Abraham pledged of old

    And his unfailing seed.

Prophets foretold His birth,

    And witness'd when He came,

The Father speaks to all the earth

    To hear, and own His name.

To Jesus, who displays

    To babes His beaming face,

Be, with the Father, endless praise,

    And with the Spirit of grace. Amen.


A Matins Hymn

John Henry Newman

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]



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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the John Henry Newman category from August 2008.

John Henry Newman: September 2008 is the next archive.

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