O Adonai, O Ruler of Israel, Thou that guides Joseph like a flock, O Emmanuel, O Sapientia, I give myself to Thee. I trust Thee wholly. Thou art wiser than I—more loving to me than I myself. Deign to fulfil Thy high purposes in me whatever they be—work in and through me. I am born to serve Thee, to be Thine, to be Thy instrument. Let me be Thy blind instrument. I ask not to see—I ask not to know—I ask simply to be used.
St. John Henry Newman, pray for us!
This small slip of paper says, John Henry Newman, Oratory
Edgbaston, July 4, 1852.
John Henry Newman was canonized October 13, 2019 by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square.
God has created me to do him some definite service. He has committed some work to me, which He has not committed to another. I have my mission. I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good. I shall do His work. I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place. Therefore, I will trust Him. Whatever I am I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him, in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him. If I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. He does nothing in vain. He knows what He is about. He may take away my friends. He may throw me among strangers. He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide my future from me. Still, He knows what He is about. —Blessed John Henry Newman
The quote above are the words of the recently canonized Cardinal John Henry Newman. Born in London on February 21st, 1801, Newman was the first of six children born to John Newman, a banker, and Jemima Fourdrinier, a descendant of French Huguenot refugees in England. Considered to be a leading intellectual of the 19th century, John Newman was ordained an Anglican priest on May 29th, 1825. Twenty years later, after a long struggle to incorporate Roman Catholic theology into Anglican theology, Newman converted to Catholicism and was ordained a Catholic priest on May 30th, 1847. Pope Leo XIII (1878 – 1903) elevated him to the cardinalate on May 12th, 1879, although he was never consecrated a bishop.
At his beatification on September 19th, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI referred to his personal motto.
Cardinal Newman’s motto, Cors et cor loqvitvr, (Heart speaks unto heart) gives insight into his understanding of the Christian life as a call to holiness experienced as a profound desire of the human heart to enter into explicit communion with the heart of God. One of the most important intellectuals of his time, he is an example to both Anglicans and Catholics. 120 years later, great crowds have assembled once again to rejoice in the Church’s solemn recognition of the outstanding holiness of this much loved father of souls.
And at his canonization, Pope Francis read a quote from one of Newman’s sermons describing the holiness of daily life: “The Christian has a deep, silent, hidden peace, which the world sees not… The Christian is cheerful, easy, kind, gentle, courteous, candid, unassuming; has no pretense… with so little that is unusual or striking in his bearing, that he may easily be taken at first sight for an ordinary man.”