On this day, the Diocesan Novena for Blessed Dominic Barberi begins. Born in 1792, he joined the Passionists and came to England, thus fulfilling his heart’s desire, establishing the first Passionist house at Aston Hall in Staffordshire in the 1840s. He is especially remembered for receiving St John Henry Newman into the Church: ‘What a spectacle it was for me to see Newman at my feet! All that I have suffered since I left Italy has been well compensated by this event. I hope the effects of such a conversion may be great’. And so it has proved.

We pray now for the canonisation of Blessed Dominic to follow upon that of St John Henry. May God bless you this day.