THE Vatican is investigating a second possible healing “miracle” to pave the way for the canonisation of John Henry Newman, who was beatified in 2010.
The case involves the inexplicable recovery of a mother in the United States from a “life-threatening pregnancy” after she prayed for the help of Cardinal Newman.
The RC archdiocese of Chicago has conducted extensive investigations locally, and has gathered a file, which has now been sent to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, the Roman Catholic weekly The Tablet reports. Two healing miracles are normally required for a candidate to be declared a saint.
Newman, who was a priest in the Church of England and one of the leaders of the Oxford Movement before his secession, was beatified in Cofton Park, Birmingham, by Pope Benedict XVI, after the Vatican approved the first miracle. This had involved the inexplicable healing of Jack Sullivan, an American, who, nine years earlier, recovered from a crippling spinal condition which had left him “bent double”.
If theologians and doctors conclude that the healing of the mother is also a miracle, the way will be clear for Pope Francis to make Newman the first English saint canonised since the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales in 1970, and the first British saint canonised since St John Ogilvie in 1976.
The Archbishop of Birmingham, the Most Revd Bernard Longley, said: “It would be a great joy to see him take a step closer to being named among the saints and would be an encouragement to all who have been inspired by him to seek the truth by seeking Christ.”