Pope Francis will canonize four women alongside John Henry Newman this Sunday. These women – a stigmatist, a mystic, a Roman orphan, and Nobel Peace prize nominee – also proclaimed Christ through their lives and their miracles in a unique way.
In its profile of Mother Mariam Thresia of India, founder of the Congregation of the Holy Family , the Herald offers this quotation:
Having just read Newman's homily on the Feast of the Holy Rosary and its connection with the Holy Family, I can see how he and Mother Mariam have this in common.
The Swiss Marguerite Bays was a laywoman serving her parish community and handing on the faith--Newman would praise her for that:
Newman would have similarly lauded both Mother Giuseppina Vannini and Sister Dulce Lopes for their service to the poor and suffering.
But what connections would the women have found with Newman and his life and works? Since two of the sisters founded religious orders, they would have shared the common concerns involved in that process. Newman's own service to the poor in Littlemore and Birmingham is a common bond. His support for the Catholic laity and his desire that we know our faith certainly connects Marguerite Bays's good works in her parish.
Of course, what the five share is their love for God and their love for their neighbor, fulfilling Jesus's greatest commandments.