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Saint of the Day: St. John Henry Newman

“Heart speaks unto heart”

SAINT John Henry Newman

Public Domain

Oratorian Priest and Cardinal(1801-1890)

His life

+ John Henry Newman was born in London. As a young man, he became involved in the Evangelical Movement of the Church of England, a tradition that was largely based on the writings of John Calvin.

+ After completing his studies at Oxford University, Newman was ordained an Anglican priest in 1825 and spent years serving in the Oxford parish of St. Mary the Virgin. In the following years, Newman became associated with the “Oxford” or “Tractarian Movement” and began an in-depth study of Church history and the Fathers of the Church.

+ As time passed, Newman became more convinced that the Roman Catholic Church was in closest continuity with the Church founded by Jesus. And so, in 1845, he was received into the Church by the Passionist priest, Blessed Dominic Barberi.

+ Two years later, Newman joined the Congregation of the Oratory and he later founded a new Oratorian community in Birmingham. For seven years he served as rector of the Catholic University of Ireland. During his life,

+ John Henry Newman authored more than 40 books, including his autobiographical Apologia Pro Vita Sua and the Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine.

+ In 1879, Pope Leo XIII named Newman a cardinal, and Newman took the phrase Cor ad Cor Loquitur (“Heart Speaks Unto Heart”) as his motto.

+ Cardinal Newman—one of the most celebrated minds of his day—died on August 11, 1890. Newman’s thought was far-reaching, influencing even the Second Vatican Council, which Pope Saint Paul VI once referred to as “Newman’s Council”; he was canonized in 2019.

For prayer and reflection

The Christian has a deep, silent, hidden peace, which the world sees not… The Christian is cheerful, easy, kind, gentle, courteous, candid, unassuming; has no pretence… with so little that is unusual or striking in his bearing, that he may easily be taken at first sight for an ordinary man.”—Saint John Henry Newman


O God, who bestowed on your Priest

Saint 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 fullness of your truth.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,

who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.

(Collect for the Feast of Saint John Henry Newman, approved for use in England and Wales)

Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

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