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Blessed John Henry Newman Cong. Orat.
Cardinal Deacon of San Giorgio in Velabro
John Henry Newman by Sir John Everett Millais
Portrait of Newman by
John Everett Millais, 1881
Appointed 12 May 1879
Reign ended 11 August 1890
Predecessor Tommaso Martinelli
Successor Francis Aidan Gasquet
Other posts Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford; Provost of the Birmingham Oratory
Created Cardinal 12 May 1879
Rank Cardinal deacon
Personal details
Born (1801-02-21)21 February 1801
London, England,
United Kingdom
Died 11 August 1890(1890-08-11) (aged 89)
Edgbaston, Birmingham, England, United Kingdom
Buried Oratory House,
Rednal, West Midlands, England, United Kingdom
Nationality British
Parents John Newman and Jemina Fourdrinier
Alma mater Trinity College, Oxford
  • Cor ad Cor Loquitur
  • (Heart speaks unto Heart)
Coat of arms
Feast day
  • 9 October (Roman Catholic Church),
  • 11 August (Church of England)
Venerated in
Beatified 19 September 2010
Cofton Park, Birmingham, England
by Pope Benedict XVI
Attributes Cardinal's attire
Patronage Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham
Shrines Birmingham Oratory,
Edgbaston, England

John Henry Newman, (21 February 1801 – 11 August 1890) was a poet and theologian, first an Anglican priest and later a Catholic priest and cardinal, who was an important and controversial figure in the religious history of England in the 19th century. He was known nationally by the mid-1830s.

Originally an evangelical Oxford University academic and priest in the Church of England, Newman then became drawn to the high-church tradition of Anglicanism. He became known as a leader for the Oxford Movement, an influential and controversial grouping of Anglicans who wished to return to the Church of England many Catholic beliefs from before the English Reformation. In this the movement had some success.

In 1845 Newman, joined by some but not all of his followers, officially left the Church of England and his teaching post at Oxford University and was received into the Catholic Church. He was quickly ordained as a priest and continued as an influential religious leader, based in Birmingham. In 1879, he was created a cardinal by Pope Leo XIII in recognition of his services to the cause of the Catholic Church in England. He was instrumental in the founding of the Catholic University of Ireland which evolved into University College Dublin, today the largest university in Ireland.

Newman was also a literary figure of note: his major writings including the Tracts for the Times (1833–1841), his autobiography Apologia Pro Vita Sua (1865–1866), the Grammar of Assent (1870), and the poem The Dream of Gerontius (1865), which was set to music in 1900 by Edward Elgar. He wrote the popular hymns "Lead, Kindly Light" and "Praise to the Holiest in the Height" (taken from Gerontius).

Newman's beatification was officially proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI on 19 September 2010 during his visit to the United Kingdom. His canonisation is dependent on the documentation of additional miracles attributed to his intercession.


Newman old
Newman in May 1890

After an illness, Newman returned to England and lived at the oratory (a religious society of secular priests), until his death, making occasional visits to London.

From the latter half of 1886, Newman's health began to fail, and he celebrated Mass for the last time on Christmas Day in 1889. On 11 August 1890 he died of pneumonia at the Birmingham Oratory. Eight days later his body was buried alongside Ambrose St. John in the cemetery at Rednal Hill, Birmingham, at the country house of the Oratory. At the time of his death he had been Protodeacon of the Holy Roman Church.

In accordance with his express wishes, Newman was buried in the grave of his lifelong friend Ambrose St. John. The pall over the coffin bore the motto that Newman adopted for use as a cardinal, Cor ad cor loquitur ("Heart speaks to heart").

Newman's grave was opened on 2 October 2008, with the intention of moving any remains to a tomb inside Birmingham Oratory for their more convenient worship as relics during Newman's consideration for sainthood; however, his wooden coffin was found to have disintegrated and no bones were found.

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