Tuesday, January 26, 2010

London Oratory to dedicate side chapel to Cardinal Newman

The London Oratory has announced that it will dedicate one of its chapels to Cardinal John Henry Newman to coincide with his beatification.

This is among the first chapels to be dedicated to the convert cardinal who is due to be beatified in September.

The Fathers of the London Oratory hope to have the chapel finished in time for the beatification.

The news was announced at Mass last week.

A copy of a 1881 famous portrait by the renowned pre-Raphaelite painter Sir John Everett Millais, which hangs in the National Portrait Gallery, will hang in the chapel.

The chapel itself will take the place of the Cavalry chapel on the left side of the nave facing the altar, behind the statue of St Peter and next to the Lady Chapel.

John Henry Newman founded the first Oratory in Britain in Birmingham in 1849. Britain's other two Oratories, in London and in Oxford, were founded from Birmingham.

Fr Wilfrid Faber, another convert from Anglicanism, who had joined the new Birmingham Oratory, eventually established the London Oratory in 1849.

Newman's Cause was opened in 1958 and the Congregation for the Causes of Saints declared him Venerable in 1991.

The next step in the process required a miracle.

Jack Sullivan, a deacon in Massachusetts, prayed for Cardinal Newman's intercession while suffering from a debilitating spinal disorder and was inexplicably cured in 2001.

Pope Benedict XVI approved the miracle in July last year, declaring the beatification imminent.

It is likely to be the high point of the Pope's visit to Britain in September and Vatican watchers believe he will himself perform the beatification, departing from norms he set for beatifications in 2005.
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