On Tuesday 12 February 2019 Pope Francis cleared the way for the canonisation of the much-loved educationalist Cardinal John Henry Newman.

The Pope received Cardinal Angelo Becciu, the Prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Saints, and authorised him to promulgate two decrees on miracles for sainthood, a decree on martyrdom and five on heroic virtues.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, has warmly welcomed the news that Cardinal Newman will be declared a saint.

Following the announcement, Cardinal Nichols said:

"This is wonderful news which will be greeted with thanks to God by people across the world.

"Newman’s exploration of faith, depth of personal courage, intellectual clarity and cultural sensitivity make him a deeply admired follower of Christ.

"He brings together so many of the best of Catholic traditions shared well beyond the Catholic Church. His canonisation will be welcomed especially in the Church of England and the wider Anglican Communion.

"For me the truly remarkable nature of this moment is that this is an English parish priest being declared a saint.

"During his life the people of Birmingham recognised his holiness and lined the streets at the time of his burial.

"I hope every parish priest in England will hold his head high today knowing Cardinal Newman is declared a saint."

Cardinal John Henry Newman was beatified - declared a 'Blessed' - by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on his historic state visit to the UK in September 2010.


Statement from His Grace, the Most Reverend Bernard Longley, Archbishop of Birmingham:

"It is wonderful news that the process for the canonisation of Blessed John Henry Newman is now moving closer towards its conclusion, and I pray that we may witness his canonisation within the coming year.

"This is a cause of great joy for the Catholic Church in Birmingham and for the Birmingham and Oxford Oratories.

"I am sure that Pope Benedict XVI, who came to our city to beatify Cardinal Newman, will be joining us in thanking God as we now prepare for Blessed John Henry’s canonisation in the near future."


Statement from Birmingham Oratory:

With great joy we have learned that Pope Francis has authorized the promulgation of a decree confirming a miracle through the intercession of Blessed John Henry Newman, the founder of the English Oratory.

The miracle occurred in May 2013 in the USA. An expectant mother was suffering from unstoppable internal bleeding which threatened the life of her child in the womb. She had long been a devotee of Blessed John Henry, and in prayer she directly and explicitly invoked Newman's intercession to stop the bleeding. The miraculous healing was immediate, complete, and permanent.

The case was passed to the Postulator of the Cause in Rome, Dr.Andrea Ambrosi who examined and documented the miracle, which was then scrutinized and approved by the medical and theological commissions of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints.

Now that the Holy Father has authorized the decree, we may reasonably hope that John Henry Cardinal Newman will soon be canonized. The Holy See will decide the date.

This confirmation of Newman's heroic sanctity will be welcomed by Catholics and Anglicans alike, and many others. Newman was a central figure within the Oxford Movement in the Church of England, and this helped him to make his unique theological and spiritual contribution to Catholicism after his conversion in 1845.

Newman's long spiritual pilgrimage 'out of shadows and images into the truth' encourages all Christians to persevere in their quest for God above all else. His conversion to Catholicism is a clear example of how God uses all the varied circumstances of our lives to draw us to Himself, in His own good time, and in so many different ways.

Ignatius Harrison
Provost, the Birmingham Oratory
Actor of the Newman Cause


Statement from Newman University:

Pope Francis has confirmed that the Patron of Newman University, Birmingham Cardinal John Henry Newman, is to be made a Saint.

Newman was beatified in 2010 by Pope Benedict. Pope Francis validated his second miracle on 13th February, which means the process of John Henry Newman’s canonisation can begin.

It is hoped that Newman’s canonisation will be complete within a year, meaning he would be the first English Saint since the Reformation.

Newman was an extraordinary thinker whose creative and lively mind engaged with the process by which men and women come to knowledge and truth.

In his famous lectures ‘The Idea of the University’ he emphasised the main role of the university to train the mind rather than to diffuse useful knowledge. His vision of the development of individuals, the belief in social justice and enabling all students to achieve their potential, is still the underlying ethos of Newman University.

BBC’s Midlands Today reporter Amy Cole visited Newman University to speak with Chaplain, Margaret Holland live on Wednesday to hear the reaction of the University.

Margaret said: “It’s great for Newman University to be associated with this fantastic news and for John Henry Newman to be so recognised by the church.”

To view Margaret’s interview visit the BBC iPlayer website


To find out more about Blessed John Henry Newman, including key teachings, videos and podcasts, click here

Newman's home at the Maryvale Institute