The Holy See has recognized the miracle necessary for the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman, the nineteenth-century British theologian who left the Church of England to enter the Roman Catholic Church.
The Congregation for the Causes of Saints has attributed the cure of Jack Sullivan, a permanent deacon from the Archdiocese of Boston, to the intercession of Cardinal Newman. Sullivan, 70, works in both parish and prison ministry, and had suffered from “extremely severe spinal problems.”
Sullivan told The Times Online that he began praying to Cardinal Newman after learning of the favorable recommendation of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
“If it wasn’t for Cardinal Newman’s intercession … it would have been virtually impossible to complete my diaconate formation and be ordained for the Archdiocese of Boston,” said Sullivan. “Nor would I have been able to continue in my chosen profession as a magistrate in our court system to support my family.”
Sullivan says that he has experienced “a very deep sense of the reality of God’s love for each one of us, especially during times of immense difficulties and suffering.” He added, “I have developed a very real relationship with Cardinal Newman in frequent prayer and I try to pass on what marvelous gifts I have received to those I meet.”
Five doctors appointed to a medical commission by the Congregation voted unanimously in April 2009 that Sullivan’s cure had no medical explanation, the spokesman for the order founded by Cardinal Newman reports.
The Congregation is now working on a document about the life of Newman, to be presented to the Holy Father, who alone can sign the promulgation of the decree authorizing the miracle.
Once beatified, Newman will need one more miracle to be canonized a saint. It is currently unknown whether the beatification ceremony will take place in Rome or Westminster Cathedral in London.