Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Devotion of Newman to Mary

Coronation of Mary
Tempera on wood,
100 x 110 cm
Museu Episcopal, Vic

Blessed John Henry Newman even before he formally became a Roman Catholic had a strong devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

As an Anglican he preached on Mary to the consternation and opposition of many of his Anglican congregationalists.

His devotion to Mary is not particularly stressed for some reason.

However after his "formal reception" into the Catholic Church, he and his fellow converts were confirmed by Bishop Wiseman at Oscott on 1st November 1845. Newman and all his fellow recipients of Confirmation chose as their confirmation name "Mary".

Wiseman wrote to Doctor Russell:

" St.Mary's College, Oscott.
My dear Friend,—

Many thanks for your kind letter. You have probably learnt from the papers (but how the ' Morning Post ' got the intelligence I cannot conceive) that since I wrote to you, Mr. Newman has-been here.

In fact, he came on the Eve of All Saints with Messrs. St. John and Walker, and was followed by Mr. Oakeley. Those from Littlemore had been confirmed here the Sunday before.

On All Saints, Newman, Oakeley, and the other two were confirmed, and we had ten quondam Anglican clergymen in the chapel. Has this ever happened before since the Reformation ?

Newman took the name of Mary ; Oakeley, Bernard and Mary.

Newman stayed with us Sunday and half of Monday, and he and all his party then expressed themselves, and have done so since, highly gratified by all they saw and felt.

Oakeley stays with us altogether. Newman's plans are not finally determined, nor will they be till his book is finished. But he opened his mind completely to me—and I assure you the Church has not received, at any time, a convert who has joined her in more docility and simplicity of faith than Newman."

For more about Newman`s devotion to Mary and some of his writings on Mary see: