Four years after the Beatification of John Henry Cardinal Newman, C.O., there is a fresh impetus to advance the rigorous investigation necessary to declare him a saint.
According to Bishop Robert Byrne, new auxiliary bishop of Birmingham in England, October 11 has been designated a Day of Prayer for Cardinal Newman. Bishop Byrne, who is the first Oratorian priest to be ordained a bishop in England for 140 years, will celebrate a solemn Mass to pray for Newman’s canonization.
On October 11–the Saturday after Newman’s feast day–the Birmingham Oratory, which Newman founded, will be the site of “A Day With Newman.” Besides the solemn Mass with Bishop Byrne as principal celebrant, there will be prayers for the canonization, and veneration of the relic; a lecture titled “Why Should Newman Be Canonized?”; and Pontifical Solemn Benediction.
In an interview with Vatican Radio, Bishop Byrne spoke about Cardinal Newman’s role as a teacher of the faith. Newman, Bishop Byrne said, has so much to offer the Church; and he hopes that after Cardinal Newman is canonized, he will eventually be named a Doctor of the Church.
Before the canonization can proceed, however, there must be a miracle attributed to the intercession of Cardinal Newman. The main thrust of the prayers going forward, then, will be prayers for a miracle–so that Newman can be shown to the world as the great theologian and the great pastor that he was.
Bishop Byrne spoke of the ongoing ecumenical dialogue between the Catholic and Anglican churches. Cardinal Newman, he noted, is a complex character: He never rejected his background as an Anglican (half his life was spent in the Anglican Church), but he viewed his conversion to Catholicism as a deepening and a development of his faith. Newman himself explained that it was Oxford that made him a Catholic. There, he studied the writings of the Early Church Fathers, and there he prayed with the Catholics.
* * * * *
A Marian prayer of Cardinal John Henry Newman
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 honour, 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.