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Newman’s feast day to be mandatory in England and Wales

John Henry Newman, 1889 (Wikimedia)

October 9, the date of Newman's conversion, has been optional since 2010

Blessed John Henry Newman’s Feast Day will be made mandatory, according to a decree from the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.

The Feast Day, which was previously optional, has been observed since Newman’s beatification in 2010.

The Feast Day will remain on October 9, the anniversary of Newman’s conversion.

It was on October 9 1845 that Newman asked Blessed Dominic Barberi to receive him into the Church.

Benedict XVI announced the beatification of Newman and the date of his Feast during a 2010 visit to the UK.

The decision to make the Feast mandatory comes in anticipation of Newman’s canonisation, which is expected to take place later this year. The date has not yet been announced.

The optional memorials of St Denis and St John Leonardi will be transferred to October 10.