Praying with Newman on Saturday (sshh!)

Given that the Blessed John Henry Newman has only been approved for devotion in England, and the optional memorial celebrating him approved for 9 October in the National Calendar for England alone, it would obviously be very wrong and wicked for this Englishman to alert American Catholics to the existence of new texts for the Divine Office and Mass that day.


And so of course I won't. Nor will I tell you where to obtain those texts. And you certainly won't learn from me that the Office of Readings that day now contains the famous passage from Newman's Apologia about ten thousand difficulties not adding up to one doubt. Sorry, folks. You'll just have to wait until Newman is raised to the Church's universal altars to pray with Newman that day. 

But there's no harm in mentioning that 9 October is not, as is usually the case with memorials, the date of Newman's death, but the date considered to be the start of the university year -- which is appropriate, given the Blessed's influence on the idea of a university (on which, see the excellent Imbelli in America). The day Newman died, 11 August (1890), was already taken by St Clare.

And even if you can't, ahem, celebrate Newman's feast day yet, there's nothing wrong with glancing that day at Pope Benedict's homily at the Beatification Mass at Cofton Park.

Austen Ivereigh


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