Wednesday, October 16, 2019

My Saint John Henry Newman Octave

Just as I prepared for the canonization Sunday with a Novena of Rosary decades and prayers, I am going to celebrate Newman's canonization with an Octave! I am praying the Collect from his feast day Mass and continuing to read reactions to his being officially named a saint, and noting celebrations.

The Venerable English College in Rome, for example, hosted a brief exhibit highlighting Newman's trips to Rome:

The exhibition includes personal items used by John Henry Newman, a lock of Pope Leo XIII's hair, original letters and documents, and one of the first and most famous portraits of Newman when he was made cardinal.

The free exhibition is hosted by the British Embassy to the Holy See and the Venerable English College, explores blessed John Henry Newman's four visits to Rome. These were in 1833 as an Anglican clergyman, in 1846 as a seminarian, in 1856 as Provost of the Birmingham and London Oratories, and in 1879 in order to be made cardinal.

Taking place from Thursday the 10th of October until Monday the 14th, the exhibition includes items loaned by the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, the Pontifical Urban College of Propaganda Fide, the International Centre of Newman Friends, the Anglican Centre, the Beda College, and the Venerable English College.

Here's a video of the exhibit. This CNA article describes his first visit to Rome as an Anglican and his mixed feelings:

Newman’s first time setting eyes on Rome was in 1833. An Anglican clergyman still years away from conversion, he wrote that he found the city to be “the most wonderful place in the world,” and said even his “dear Oxford” is dust compared with Rome’s “majesty and glory.”

Newman also saw the Vatican Museums during the trip and was impressed by the beauty of Rome’s churches, art, and sculpture.

But his anti-Catholic views also worked against his enjoyment of the Christian aspects of the city. He called Rome “cruel,” because though he was awed by walking in the footsteps of the Apostles and saints martyred in Rome, he found the experience to be overshadowed by what were called Catholic “superstitions.”  

This visit, which lasted five weeks, also marked Newman’s first time at a Mass. He attended a Mass said by Gregory XVI for the feast of the Annunciation at the Church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva.

O God, who bestowed on the 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 fulness 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. Amen.

St. John Henry Newman, pray for us!

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