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By Hannah Brockhaus, Catholic News Agency, Oct. 11, 2019
Rome, Italy, Oct 11, 2019 / 01:12 pm (CNA) – Cardinal John Henry Newman, who will be canonized Oct. 13, is more often associated with Birmingham than Rome, but his four visits to the Eternal City mark significant moments in the life of this soon-to-be saint.
An exhibit hosted by the Venerable English College and the British Embassy to the Holy See in Rome Oct. 10-14 demonstrates the significance of Newman’s time in Rome, where he was ordained a Catholic priest, celebrated his first Mass, and discovered the Oratory of St. Philip Neri.
Newman’s first time setting eyes on Rome was in 1833. An Anglican clergyman still years away from conversion, he wrote that he found the city to be “the most wonderful place in the world,” and said even his “dear Oxford” is dust compared with Rome’s “majesty and glory.”
Newman also saw the Vatican Museums during the trip and was impressed by the beauty of Rome’s churches, art, and sculpture.
But his anti-Catholic views also worked against his enjoyment of the Christian aspects of the city. He called Rome “cruel,” because though he was awed by walking in the footsteps of the Apostles and saints martyred in Rome, he found the experience to be overshadowed by what were called Catholic “superstitions.” ….