Join the Novena with Newman

Statement from Archbishop Bernard Longley following Canonisation Date announcement:

Together with everybody in the Archdiocese of Birmingham I am delighted with the recent news about the forthcoming canonisation of Blessed John Henry Newman.

While this is news of international and national significance it has a particular importance within the Archdiocese of Birmingham.

It awakens happy memories of Blessed Cardinal Newman’s beatification by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010 and I am sure that the canonisation will be a source of great blessings to the Archdiocese and its mission.

I also congratulate the Provost and Fathers at the Oratories in Birmingham and Oxford as they give thanks for the canonisation of their Founder.

Canonisation Date announcement, July 2019


The Fathers of the Birmingham Oratory are delighted to announce that Pope Francis will canonise Blessed John Henry Newman in St Peter’s Square on Sunday 13 October 2019 alongside 4 others.

This will make Cardinal Newman the first English person who has lived since the 17th century officially recognised as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church.

John Henry Newman (1801-1890) was ordained as a Church of England priest and soon became the leader of the Oxford Movement but converted to Catholicism in 1845.

He founded the Oratory in England and was later made a cardinal. When he died at the age of 89, more than 15,000 people lined the streets of Birmingham for his funeral.

Cardinal Newman is widely considered to be one of the most significant figures of the 19th century.

The cause for his sainthood was opened in 1958 and he was declared Venerable by Pope Saint John Paul II in 1991 after his life of ‘heroic virtue’ was recognised.

Pope Benedict XVI declared him Blessed in Cofton Park near Birmingham in September 2010, as part of his historic visit to Britain.

The canonisation was made possible by a second miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed John Henry Newman, consisting in the medically inexplicable healing of a pregnant woman with life-threatening complications due to her pregnancy. The cure took place in Chicago, USA, in May 2013.

After an initial investigation carried out by the archdiocese of Chicago, it was submitted to the Holy See in 2018, and approved by Pope Francis on 13 February 2019.

During the ceremony for his beatification in 2010, Pope Benedict said that Newman “tells us that our divine Master has assigned a specific task to each one of us, a ‘definite service’, committed uniquely to every single person.”

“The definite service to which Blessed John Henry was called,” continued the Pope, “involved applying his keen intellect and his prolific pen to many of the most pressing ‘subjects of the day’. His insights into the relationship between faith and

reason, into the vital place of revealed religion in civilised society, and into the need for a broadly-based and wide-ranging approach to education were not only of profound importance for Victorian England, but continue today to inspire and enlighten many all over the world.”

Fr Ignatius Harrison, Provost of the Birmingham Oratory which was founded by Newman in 1849, said that “Newman's lifelong success in bringing others to Christ shows us that the apostolate of Christian friendship achieves much more by attracting people to the Lord than by aggressive polemic. Newman's long and incremental spiritual pilgrimage shows us that God leads us to Himself step by step, in ways that He customises to our individual needs, and in His own good time.”

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, said “This is a moment of great pride. On Friday it was the feast of the Sacred Heart and we held a mass for the priests of England and Wales. Foremost in our minds was the declaration of a saint who was a priest here.

“John Henry Newman is known for many great qualities, but we remember him particularly for the kindness and compassion of his ministry to the people of Birmingham. At his death they turned out in their thousands to salute a much loved priest on his funeral procession through the streets of Birmingham."

The other blesseds to be canonised alongside Newman are Giuseppina Vannini, Mariam Thresia Chiramel Mankidiyan, Irmã Dulce Pontes and Marguerite Bays.

Information about Cardinal Newman including details of his life, of the miracle and the process of canonisation, links to his writings as well as photos and videos available to media, can be found at

For further details or to arrange interviews contact Jack Valero, Press and Media Coordinator, Newman Canonisation:

[email protected]

News releases following the Canonisation announcement, February 2019:

Statement from Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales:

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.

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.”