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November 8, 2019

The Life of Saint John Henry Newman

The Life of Saint John Henry Newman

On October 13, Pope Francis canonized Cardinal John Henry Newman. During his life, Newman served as an important figure in both the Church of England and Catholic Church, converting to the latter at the age of 46. A prolific writer, his accomplishments in philosophy and theology were rivaled only by his devotion to educating younger generations of Catholics. Below is a brief summary of his life.

1801 – John Henry Newman is born in London, England.

1824 – Newman is ordained a deacon within the Church of England.

1833 to 1841 – Newman leads the Oxford movement, contributing to the Tracts for the Times. He writes on everything from sacrament and doctrine to Scripture and apostolic succession.

1847 – He is received into the Roman Catholic Church and is ordained a priest.

1851 – During the reestablishment of the Catholic dioceses in England, he offers his Lectures on the Present Position of Catholics in England in an attempt to promote peace between the Catholic and Anglican communities.

1854 – Newman serves as the first Rector of the Catholic University of Ireland at the request of the Irish bishops. He forms the Literary and Historical Society.

1858 – He works to establish a branch of the Oratory at Oxford, but is opposed by another fellow convert, Henry Edward Manning due to fear of Catholics attending Oxford over other Catholic institutions. In 20 years later, a Catholic organization is formed at Oxford and is named in honor of Newman.

1864 – Along with Bartholomew Woodlock, Newman founds the Catholic University School, a preparatory school for the Catholic University of Ireland.

1879 – Newman is elevated to the rank of cardinal, but requests not to be consecrated a bishop and to stay in Birmingham, England.

1890 – Cardinal John Henry Newman dies of pneumonia in Edgbaston, England. Eight days later, he is buried alongside his lifelong friend and fellow convert to Catholicism, Ambrose St. John.

1991 – He is proclaimed venerable by Pope John Paul II.

2006 – After it is confirmed that his intercession led to the miraculous healing of a deacon in the Archdiocese of Boston, Newman is beatified by Pope Benedict XVI.

2018 – In the Archdiocese of Chicago, a pregnant woman suffering from a life-threatening illness is healed. The miracle is approved by the Vatican, and Pope Francis announces Blessed Newman’s canonization.

2019 – At Mass in St. Peter’s Square in Rome, Newman is canonized by Pope Francis. His feast day is October 9.


Songs incorporating the writings of St. John Henry Newman


May God Support Us [MP3]

Christopher Walker, John Newman

Peace at the Last [MP3]

Christopher Willcock, John Newman

Praise to the Holiest [MP3]

Andrew Wright, Richard Terry, John Newman