Miracle Healing Advances Cardinal Newman's Cause

Birmingham Oratory Prepares for Beatification

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BIRMINGHAM, England, JULY 3, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Members of the Oratory in Birmingham are preparing to celebrate the imminent beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman, after today’s announcement that Benedict XVI approved a miracle through his intercession.

A press release distributed by the bishops’ conference of England and Wales affirmed that the beatification of the theologian and Catholic convert is now certain.

The miracle that was approved by the Pope as a step in the cause of canonization was the 2001 healing of Deacon Jack Sullivan of the Boston, Massachusetts, area.

Sullivan, now 70, had a debilitating back injury that interrupted his diaconal studies and threatened to leave him paralyzed. After receiving this diagnosis, he went to his home and turned on the television as a distraction from the pain and disappointment.

A program about the life of Cardinal Newman was being aired, and it ended with a request to contact the postulate for the cause of his beautification if any favors were received through his intercession.

Sullivan recited a prayer to the cardinal, and the next morning, he awoke free of pain.

He was able to return to his studies, but eight months later, in April 2001, the pain came back. He once again prayed for Cardinal Newman’s intercession, and when the pain disappeared, doctors stated that there was no human explanation for the immediate recovery.

Sullivan, who was ordained a permanent deacon in September 2002, affirmed, “Upon hearing of the recent developments in Rome regarding Cardinal Newman’s cause for beatification, I was left with an intense sense of gratitude and thanksgiving to Almighty God and my intercessor Cardinal John Henry Newman.”

He continued, “I have dedicated my vocation in praise of Cardinal Newman, who even now directs all my efforts.”


In Rome, Father Edoardo Cerrato, procurator-general of the Oratory, stated, “On behalf of the 82 houses of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri, Newman’s own congregation, I welcome this decision with joy and look forward to the ceremony of beatification with great anticipation.”

Father Paul Chavasse, provost of the Birmingham Oratory, which was Cardinal Newman’s community, affirmed, “The prayers of Christ’s faithful all over the world have now been answered.”

The priest noted that it is “providential that the beatification of this great English theologian will occur in the pontificate of Benedict XVI, a major theologian in his own right whom Cardinal Newman has influenced profoundly.”

Cardinal Newman was declared venerable in 1991 by Pope John Paul II.

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On the Net:

Cardinal Newman’s cause for canonization: www.newmancause.co.uk

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