Vatican News

Cardinal Henry Newman: From Anglican priest to Catholic cardinal

A brief biography of Cardinal John Henry Newman, who was canonized by Pope Francis on Sunday, October 13, 2019.

By Vatican News

Cardinal Henry Newman spent his life in search of Truth. He always said it was the only reason for living.

From England to Rome

At the age of 25, Newman said he had met God, not "as a notion, but as a person”. Two years later, he became an Anglican priest and taught at Oxford.

Always one to question the essence of the Truth and of Faith, Newman found an answer when he first visited Rome in 1833.  

From Rome to Oxford

Back in Oxford, he found he was increasingly far from Anglicanism. He began studying the Fathers of the Church, common to all denominations, and gathered around him a group of scholars who questioned themselves on important topics such as respect for the tradition of the first centuries.

In 1843 he made his decision. Two years later he asked to be admitted to the Catholic Church. After completing his theological studies in Rome, he was ordained a priest in 1847.

The Birmingham Oratory

In 1850 Henry returned to England and threw himself into various activities: he founded the Dublin University, produced a new translation of the Bible into English, took over the direction of a magazine, and founded an Oratory in Oxford dedicated to St Philip Neri, in whose Congregation he had been ordained a priest.

In 1879, Pope Leo XIII created him a Cardinal. John Henry Newman died at the Birmingham Oratory on 11 August 1890.

He was declared Blessed by Pope Benedict XVI on 19 September 2010 during his visit to Britain.

12 October 2019, 13:17