Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Heart Speaks to Heart

Cor ad Cor Loquitur ("Heart Speaks to Heart") was the motto on the coat of arms of Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890), an influential member of the English Oxford Movement while still an Anglican and a famous English convert to Catholicism, whose feast day is today and who will be canonized by Pope Francis on Sunday. 

He was the author of a famous autobiography Apologia Pro Vita Sua (1866), The Grammar of Assent (1870), the poem The Dream of Gerontius (1865, published in the new Paulist magazine The Catholic World), and the popular hymns Lead, Kindly Light and Praise to the Holiest in the Height. A priest of the Birmingham Oratory, Newman was created a Cardinal by Pope Leo XIII in 1879, and was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to the United Kingdom at an open-air Mass in Birmingham on September 19, 2010.  Newman’s significance for the wider English-speaking world will be reflected in the presence of the Prince of Wales at Sunday’s ceremony in Rome.

Newman never visited the United States, but Paulist founder Isaac Hecker visited him several times in England. After Hecker's death in 1888, Cardinal Newman wrote to his successor as Paulist Superior, Augustine Hewit: "I have ever felt that there was this sort of unity in our lives - that we had both begun a work of the same kind, he in America and I in England, and I know how zealous he was in promoting it." 

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