Britain’s first modern saint! Victorian priest and poet Cardinal John Henry Newman will be canonised in historic ceremony at the Vatican tomorrow
- Newman will be canonised in Rome tomorrow, with The Prince of Wales present
- The Prince will be at the Vatican ceremony, and he will meet Melissa Villalobos
- The lawyer from Chicago, 42, claims she had a miracle after praying to Newman
- While she was pregnant in 2013, her life was threatened when her placenta tore
- As she lay on the floor, Ms Villalobos prayed to Newman to stop the bleeding
Cardinal John Henry Newman (pictured) will be canonised in Rome tomorrow
A Victorian priest and poet is set to become Britain’s first saint since the 17th century.
Cardinal John Henry Newman will be canonised in Rome tomorrow – with the Prince of Wales watching on.
Prince Charles, 70, who is the next head of the Church of England, will watch the ceremony in the Vatican’s St Peter’s Square alongside up to 20,000 visitors.
He will also meet Melissa Villalobos, a lawyer from Chicago who claims she experienced a miracle after praying to Cardinal Newman.
While pregnant in 2013, the 42-year-old’s life was threatened when her placenta tore.
As she lay on the floor, she prayed to Cardinal Newman to stop the bleeding.
She told The Times: ‘I said, ‘Please Cardinal Newman make the bleeding stop’. It stopped immediately.
‘I said, ‘Cardinal Newman, did you make the bleeding stop?’. There was a burst of roses that filled the air… I knew I was cured.’
It was the second miracle needed for his canonisation.
Prince Charles added to the newspaper: ‘In the age in which he attains sainthood his example is needed more than ever.
Before Cardinal Newman (right), the last Briton to become a saint was Scottish priest John Ogilvie (right), who was hanged and drawn in 1615 at 36. He was canonised in 1976
What are the five steps to becoming a saint?
Five-year wait: Five years usually needs to have passed after someone’s death for the process to begin. This allows for a period of reflection on the case.
Servant of God: The bishop of the diocese where the person has died investigates whether their life was holy enough to be deemed a ‘servant of God’.
Life of heroic virtue: The Congregation for the Causes of Saints looks at the case. If they approve it is passed onto the Pope, who declares the subject a person of ‘heroic virtue’.
Beatification: A miracle needs to happen to a person who has prayed to the person in question.
Canonisation: A second miracle is attributed to the person who has been beatified.
‘He could advocate without accusation, could disagree without disrespect and perhaps most of all could see differecnes as places of encounter rather than exclusion.’
The last Briton to become a saint was Scottish priest John Ogilvie, who was hanged and drawn in 1615 at 36. He was canonised in 1976.
Yet the latest English or Welshman to get the honour was in 1970. The last one died in 1679.
A service for Cardinal Newman, who died at 89 in 1890, will also be held at Westminster Cathedral next week.
Newman, born in 1801 the son of a London banker, was a Church of England cleric before converting to Roman Catholicism in 1845.
It heralded a revival of the faith in England. Newman, a brilliant theologian and a writer of hymns, was made a cardinal in 1879.
Tapestries hanging from the facade of St Peter’s Basilica show from left; Dulce Lopes Pontes, Giuseppina Vannini, John Henry Newman, Maria Teresa Chiramel Mankidiyan, and Margarita Bays, at the Vatican yesterday
Joining the Prince of Wales from the UK will also be Archbishop of Westminster Cardinal Vincent Nichols (left), MPs from the parliamentary group on the Holy See and British ambassador to the Vatican Sally Axworthy (right)
He lived in Birmingham for some 40 years and at his funeral in 1890 more than 15,000 lined the streets.
During tomorrow’s ceremony, a picture of the Cardinal will be on display next to four women also being canonised: a Brazilian, an Indian, a Swiss and an Italian.
The service will see Pope Francis declare them as saints to be ‘venerated as such by the whole church’.
Joining the Prince of Wales from the UK will also be Archbishop of Westminster Cardinal Vincent Nichols, MPs from the parliamentary group on the Holy See and British ambassador to the Vatican Sally Axworthy.