Friday, March 11, 2005

On March 11, 1879...
the following letter was sent to Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.:

Quod Te, Reverendissime in Christo Pater, Pontifex Maximus inter Romanæ Ecclesiæ Cardinales nuper adsciverit, et fama nobis undique innotuit et animos nostros quam maxima lætitia affecit. Tanti enim Te facimus, tantum amamus, tamque arcto inter se Angliæ et Neapolis Congregationes amoris vinculo junguntur, ut honorem tuum, Pater Charissime, veluti nostrum computemus.

Quapropter Tibi Neapolitanæ Congregationis Oratorii nomine de dignitate jure meritoque delata valde gratulor; idque eo libentius elatioribusque rationibus facio, quo Te dignum plane Divi Philippi Nerii filium hujusmodi honores parvi pendere scio. Verum hoc mihi animo inest, ideo Providissimum Deum his diebus Te ad tantam dignitatem evexisse, ut bono Ecclesiæ suæ, in Anglia præsertim, mirifice consulat: maximasque Deo ago gratias quod ad uberiores fructus in Ecclesia colligendos Beati Patris Philippi filium optimum adhibere dignatus est.

Talia animo agentes tum ego tum omnes meæ Congregationis Patres Deum obtestamur, ut Te magis ac magis sua gratia cumulet. Ego autem tuas omniumque tuæ Congregationis Patrum preces specialiter enixeque efflagitans, Tibi, Reverendissime Pater, magno obsequio æque ac mentis affectu scias me devinctum esse volo.

Reverentiæ Tuæ
Addictissimus et Amantissimus,

He responded:

Vetera tua erga me beneficia et fraternitatis in S. Philippo pignora, Colendissime Pater, tum tua ipsius, tum illa quibus Congregatfo Neapolitana et singuli ejus Patres annis præteritis nos cumulaverunt, jam novo charitatis documento coronasti, in illa acceptissimâ Epistolâ quæ scripta in Tuo et Tuorum nomine hodie ad me venit.

Gratissimo et effusissimo animo Paternitates omnes vestras amplector et foveo, qui me vetulum tam sincerâ benevolentiâ et sympathiâ hoc tempore in mernoriâ vestrâ habuistis, cum Sanctissimus Pontifex me in tam sublimem dignitatem inopinata et admirabili benignitate evehere sibi proposuit.

Precamini pro me, dulcissime Pater, et omnes Patres tui, ut curriculum vitæ meæ, jam prope emensum, faustè et feliciter conficiam, in fide et spe bonâ et charitate quæ operit multitudinem peccatorum.

Reverentiæ Tuæ
Observantissimus et Amantissimus,

The translations follow:

We hear on all sides, to our very great joy, that the Holy Father has announced his intention to number you among the Cardinals of the Roman Church. We esteem you so highly, and love you so warmly, and a bond so close connects the English Oratory with that of Naples, that we look on all honour done to you, as our own.

Wherefore, in the name and on behalf of the Naples Congregation of the Oratory, I very cordially congratulate you on the dignity so duly and so deservedly conferred on you; and I do this the more readily, and from still higher motives, because I know that you, as becomes a worthy son of St. Philip, set small store by honours of this kind, for their own sake. But I feel very deeply that God, in His ever wise and watchful Providence, has raised you to this great dignity for the good of the Church, and especially in England; and I rejoice greatly and bless Him that He has vouchsafed to call so good a son of St. Philip to gather into His Church a still more abundant harvest.

With these thoughts and feelings both I and all the Fathers of our Congregation implore God to multiply more and more His grace upon you; and I very especially and earnestly ask your prayers, and those of the Fathers of your Congregation, and hold myself bound to you, very Rev. Father, by every tie of reverence and loving regard.

Your Reverence's
Most Devoted and Affectionate

You have now, by the very welcome letter which I have today received, written in your own name and in that of your Community, put the crown to the long series of kindnesses and tokens of brotherhood in St. Philip, which your Congregation and its several Fathers have shown us all along in the years that are past.

I embrace you all and cherish you with grateful heart for remembering me, an old man and infirm, with such cordial kindness and sympathy, now that the Holy Father has proposed, with unlooked for and wonderful goodness, to raise me to a dignity so high.

Pray for me, my dear Father, you and all your Fathers, that I may well and happily end my course, now so nearly run out, in faith and hope and in the charity which covers the multitude of sins.

Your Reverence's
Most Devoted and Affectionate


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