John Henry Newman, born Feb. 21, 1801, was raised as a member of the Anglican Church and became an Anglican priest in 1824 after attending Trinity College, Oxford. Newman was a scholar of the early church and a prodigious writer of tracts, histories, analysis, criticism and even poems, several of which were set to music as hymns. In 1845 Newman converted to Roman Catholicism, and the following year he traveled to Rome where he was ordained as a priest.
Upon returning to England, Newman underwent a difficult period, as both Anglicans and Catholics were suspicious of him. In 1864, negative mention in the British press presented Newman the opportunity to compose and publish his autobiography, Apologia pro vita sua in his own defense. The book helped to restore his reputation. In 1878 Newman was named an honorary fellow to Trinity College and in 1879 he was made cardinal.
Newman died August 11, 1890. He was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI on Sept. 19, 2010, and Pope Francis approved Newman’s canonization on Feb. 13, 2019, expected to take place later this year.
John Henry Newman painted by Sir John Everett Millais, wikicommons