Saturday, February 21, 2004

There would have to be a lot of candles on that cake...
Today is Venerable John Henry Newman's 203rd birthday! It would be a most appropriate present to pray for his canonization today. Here is a form that could be used:
Eternal Father, You led JOHN HENRY NEWMAN to follow the kindly light of Truth, and he obediently responded to your heavenly calls at any cost. As writer, preacher, counsellor and educator, as pastor, Oratorian, and servant of the poor he laboured to build up Your Kingdom.

Grant that through your Vicar on Earth we may hear the words, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter into the company of the canonized saints."

May You manifest Your servant's power of intercession by even extraordinary answers to the prayers of the faithful throughout the world. We pray particularly for our intentions in his name and in the Name of Jesus Christ Your Son our Lord.


Please report any favours received to:
The Postulator, The Oratory, Hagley Road, Birmingham B16 8UE, England

A special thank you to any bloggers who have mentioned this anniversary- I have seen posts by Lane Core and Gerard Serafin, but the thank you extends to others I may have missed.
In 1858, the Venerable apparently spent part of his birthday giving some catechetical instructions on the Creed. The following notes are still extant:

"1. I said last that the Creed did not contain all that we had to believe, but certain portions, and this is put into our hands for various reasons.

2. First, as a badge of what our religion is: 'Christian is my name, Catholic my surname.' The sign of the cross—so the Creed.

3. Next, as what is fundamental—which 'infants in grace know,' 'other foundation,' etc. 'No one can say Jesus is the Lord,' etc. Disciplina arcani.

4. Thirdly, as being easy of memory, being only a few clauses, a few words in each.

5. Three chief parts—twelve articles—(go through them).

6. As to the twelve articles, there was a belief that each apostle gave an article—thence called Apostles' Creed; but not so, but, as I said last time, because it contains apostolic doctrine.

7. And hence there were originally lesser variations in the Creed in various parts of the Church, in various countries. Rites and ceremonies vary, and though the faith never varies, the expression of it may. We have an instance of this in the Creed of the Mass. (Exemplify.)

8. Each Church, then, had its own Creed, the same except in few words, or a few articles put in or out. The Creed which has remained and which we use as the Apostles' Creed is the Creed always used in Rome. Saying it at the Confessional of St. Peter.

9. Another thing to be said about the Apostles' Creed: the Nicene has additions because of heresies- Consubstantial, etc.; the Apostles' Creed that of the Church of Rome, where heresy never was.

10. But lest the Creed should grow too large, the Council of Ephesus determined that it should not be added to, though heresies arose; hence Theotokos not introduced. "


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