"Young Religious ought to enter blogs and correct the opinions of the youth, showing them the true Jesus" - Cardinal Camillo Ruini, Vicar for Rome

Monday, September 20, 2010

Blessed John Henry Newman, Pray for us

Written by Sr. Marie St. Paul on September 19, 2010

Br. Francis with 2 of his paintings: Servant of God John Paul II and BLESSED John Henry Newman!
At 1:30 am this morning, four dedicated nuns cuddled up on the couches of the living room to watch with slightly bleary eye the Beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman.  Thanks to EWTN and their great coverage, the sisters and I have been avidly accompanying the Holy Father these past three days during his visit to Scotland and England.    

What a beautiful and grace-filled visit!  We’ve watched with great joy the crowds greeting the Holy Father with loud cheers and heard his words calling not only the faithful of Great Britain but all of us “to look into our hearts each day to find the source of all true love.  Jesus is always there, quietly waiting for us to be still with Him and to hear His Voice.”  The Holy Father in his inimitable way always points his flock to Jesus.

But I digress…we’re celebrating the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman, beatified by the Holy Father himself in Birmingham, England!  What an honor for that great and heroic man who endured so much during his lifetime.  Reading about the influence of Cardinal Newman and his Oratorians on JRR Tolkien piqued my own interest to learn more about the Cardinal.  Following Fr. Bassett’s suggestion that one of the best biographies on Newman was written by Meriol Trevor, I first read her two volume work about ten years ago.  The Cardinal’s friendship and example have enriched my life immensely!  He is truly a beautiful soul.

One of the tidbits that particularly touched the sisters and I during the Holy Father’s visit was seeing the photos of Blessed John Henry’s dearest friends hanging in his little chapel to the right of where he prayed.  Friendship was a key element to the formation of our new Blessed.  This morning, Sr. Fidelis and I discussed the importance of spiritual friendship and the reality of Christ's love any good friend brings to one’s life, whether they reside on this earth or in Heaven.  They too, as the words of the Holy Father do, lead us to Jesus.    

Many depictions of Blessed John Henry Newman have been circulated during the Holy Father’s visit, but I want to share with you one of the best portraits that I’ve ever seen, lovingly painted by Br. Francis Edkins, CFR (a photo of the painting is seen below!).

Blessed John Henry Newman, pray for us!


Anonymous said...

Oh, thank you for this note. I guess I have always kind of taken Cardinal Newman for granted. I'll have to do some more reading about him. I've been to Newman centers at college campuses. When my daughter was considering attending NAU, and how life would be on campus, we checked to see if they had a Newman center. Of course, they did. Such a nice blessing to have a Catholic home on campus. Thank you Blessed John Henry Newman.

Anonymous said...

let it be: dreams to reality, Sisters!


Becca said...

Thank you for this note, and for showing this picture. I would dearly love to obtain a print of this, if one is available. I am a relative of Blessed John Henry Newman, have revered him since childhood, even as I grew up non-Catholic. I am convinced that he was praying for me to convert all through those years, because of the strong attachment I had for him from childhood on. This is the most beautiful painting I have seen of him yet. I am also a great fan of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. Fr. Benedict played with our children shortly after our conversion, and then his friars led Youth 2000 retreats in our area for years. They have been a strong influence in our formation as Catholics, and now one of our daughters is a novice with the Trinitarians of Maria in Mexico, ministering to the poor, and it also is an order of perpetual adoration and contemplation. I believe Blessed John Henry Newman had a hand in all of that. May God bless you. Becca