Life & Soul

How to… Pray to St John Henry Newman

(Mazur/cbcew.org.uk)

The simplest way to pray to England’s newest saint is to say: “St John Henry Newman, pray for us.”

This could be elaborated upon by asking for a specific favour, as did Melissa Villalobos, the mother cured at his intercession – who, as she lay haemorrhaging, said: “Please, Cardinal Newman, make the bleeding stop.”

Melissa by that time was already a woman who prayed daily to the then Blessed John Henry, entering into conversations with him and placing before him her needs and anxieties, however small they seemed.

Intercession is just one form of prayer, however, and Melissa would also meditate (another form of prayer) on his letters, sermons and other works, very often via the online Newman Reader (newmanreader.org). The saint, she says, is a “guiding light to help me to live a holier life,” and to bring her closer to Christ.

It is also possible to pray to St John Henry by praying with him through the texts of the richly theological prayers he himself composed. His deep devotions to the Sacred Heart (which inspired his motto, Cor ad cor loquitur) and to Our Lady inspired beautiful prayers, and his meditation on the Sacred Heart makes an eloquent act of worship, especially during Eucharistic Adoration.