Today our beloved John Henry Newman will be canonised! Our monastery is built on the very land through which he would often have walked, during his years at what is now Maryvale – indeed, it was he who gave it its name.

At Newman’s beatification, which took place in Birmingham in 2010, Pope Benedict XVI said:

‘Cardinal Newman’s motto, Cor ad cor loquitur, or “Heart speaks unto heart”, gives us an insight into his understanding of the Christian life as a call to holiness, experienced as the profound desire of the human heart to enter into intimate communion with the Heart of God. He reminds us that faithfulness to prayer gradually transforms us into the divine likeness. As he wrote in one of his many fine sermons, “a habit of prayer, the practice of turning to God and the unseen world in every season, in every place, in every emergency – prayer, I say, has what may be called a natural effect in spiritualizing and elevating the soul. A man is no longer what he was before; gradually … he has imbibed a new set of ideas, and become imbued with fresh principles”’.

May St John Henry’s motto, ‘Heart speaks unto heart’, be at the heart of your own spiritual journey, and may it be a path to holiness in your own life.

May our new Saint pray for us, and may God bless you this day.