Friday, July 03, 2009

Blessed Newman

Emmeline Deane (floruit 1879; died 1944).
John Henry Newman 1889
Oil on canvas, 44 in. x 35 1/4 in. (1118 mm x 895 mm)
The National Portrait Gallery, London

Pope Benedict XVI has paved the way for the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman

The Telegraph reportsthat the Pope has signed a decree, stating that the healing of a man's serious spinal disorder was down to his intercession

Archbishop Vincent Nichols, the newly installed leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, said:

"I am delighted to learn this news, which will be warmly welcomed by Catholics around the world.

"To have Cardinal Newman among the Blessed is an occasion of great thankfulness to the Lord and of great pride to those associated with him in Birmingham and in Oxford. I am sure he will help us greatly in the task of protecting the Faith amidst the difficulties he foresaw so clearly."

The Procurator General of the Oratory, Father Edoardo Cerrato, added:

"On behalf of the eighty-two houses of the Oratory of St Philip Neri, Newman's own Congregation, I welcome this decision with joy and look forward to the ceremony of Beatification with great anticipation."

The artist, Miss Emmeline Deane was the Cardinal`s cousin. She had been anxious for some time to paint the Cardinal`s portrait.

On 3rd May 1887, the Cardinal wrote to her:

'My dear Emmeline,—

It would be a great pleasure and favour to me to be painted by you. These are not idle words, and I should rejoice to see you. But my time is not my own. It is not now my own as if I were young, and I have much to do, and have no certainty when the supply of time will cease, and life end.

'You may recollect the histories of St. Bede and St. Anselm. They were each of them finishing a great work, and they had to run a race with time. Anselm did not finish his—but Bede just managed to be successful. Anselm was 76—but Bede was only 62. I, alas, alas, am 86.

'What chance have I of doing my small work, however much I try? and you lightly ask me, my dear child, to give up the long days, which are in fact the only days I have!

'The only days I have, because it is my misfortune not to be able to read by candle-light, and at this very time, though March has begun, I am anxiously waiting day by day, though as yet in vain, for the morning light to be strong enough to enable me to say Mass without the vain attempt to use a candle.

'I must add that now for two years I have lost the use of my fingers for writing, and am obliged to write very slowly in order to form my letters.

'It is all this which hinders my saying categorically "yes" to your kind, and, to me, welcome question.

'But I will say this—I am labouring to carry two volumes of "St. Athanasius" through the press—I fear this will take at least half a year—this must be—but I know no excuse, if it suits you, why you should not write again to me then, if I am then alive.

Yours affectly,

Emmeline Deane did come to the Oratory, made sketched and painted two portraits in oils, one of which is in the National Portrait Gallery

The Cardinal died on 11th August 1890.