15 July 2009

A day of great joy...

The date and place for the beatification of John Henry Cardinal Newman has been proposed. It should take place on May 2nd in the Birmingham Oratory, and the details are found in this story from the Catholic News Service:

LONDON (CNS) -- Cardinal John Henry Newman will be beatified in Birmingham, England, May 2, a Catholic Church source told Catholic News Service.

The date and venue have been proposed by the Vatican Congregation for Saints' Causes and are expected to be accepted soon by the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, the source told CNS July 15 on condition of anonymity.

The source said the cardinal will be beatified in the Birmingham Oratory, which he founded following his conversion to Catholicism in 1845 at age 44.

May 2 is seen as a favorable date because it is the feast of St. Athanasius, the fourth-century "champion of orthodoxy" admired by Cardinal Newman.

Pope Benedict XVI signed the decree authorizing the beatification earlier this year after Vatican medical and theological experts approved the 2001 healing of Deacon John Sullivan of Marshfield, Mass., who was " bent double" by a severe spinal condition, as a miracle attributed to Cardinal Newman's intercession. The decree was made public by the Vatican July 3.

Beatification is a major step in the Catholic sainthood process.