Pope Francis declared Cardinal Newman (1801-1891) a Saint at Mass in St Peter’s Square on Sunday 13th October. He is the first Englishman for many years to be formally declared “Saint”. Four other people were also named: Sr. Mariam Thresia Chiramel Mankidiyan, the foundress of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family (CHF), Swiss laywoman Marguerite Bays, Brazilian Sister Dulce Lopes and Italian Sister Giuseppina Vannini.
Tens of thousands of Catholics from all over the world, including a group from English Martyrs’, attended the ceremony. In his homily the Pope quoted Cardinal Newman’s famous hymn Lead kindly light, amid the encircling gloom, lead thou me on. He told us: “Let us ask to be like ‘kindly lights’ amid the encircling gloom”. He also quoted from Newman’s sermons where he said that Christians should be: cheerful, easy to get along with, kind, gentle, courageous, honest and candid, unassuming. We pray that during the coming celebrations of All Saints we may all reflect these virtues.
The photographs show our students St Peter’s Square before the Canonisation Mass, with Cardinal Vincent Nicholls, Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster and Archbishop Malcolm, Archbishop of Liverpool (formerly Bishop of Nottingham). Students are also pictured at the Colosseum, at the church of Santa Sabina where they were privileged to be invited by the Dominican Fathers into their house to see the cell of St Dominic, and at the Pontifical Collegium Russicum – where they were given a private tour of the seminary.
This famous prayer of John Henry Newman is one we may like to make our own:
May he support us all the day long,
till the shades lengthen, and the evening comes,
and the busy world is hushed,
and the fever of life is over,
and our work is done.
Then in His mercy, may He give us a safe lodging,
and a holy rest and peace at the last.