VATICAN CITY — Prince Charles will attend the canonization of Cardinal John Henry Newman next month.
The heir to the British throne will travel to Rome to witness the canonization Mass of the first non-martyr English saint since the Reformation.
After the Mass in St. Peter’s Square Oct. 13, the Prince of Wales will attend a reception at the Pontifical Urban College, where Cardinal Newman studied to become a Catholic priest, the prince’s office announced.
“We are delighted that HRH the Prince of Wales will lead the U.K. delegation for the canonization of Cardinal Newman,” Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the archbishop of Westminster, said after the announcement Sept. 12.
“Cardinal Newman’s exploration of faith, depth of personal courage, intellectual clarity and cultural sensitivity make him a deeply admired follower of Christ. His ministry, especially among the poor, is a permanent sign of the Church’s pastoral compassion and a challenge to us all today,” Cardinal Nichols said.
Cardinal Newman was a 19th-century theologian, poet, Catholic priest and cardinal. Originally an Anglican priest, he converted to Catholicism in 1845, and his writings are considered among some of the most important Church writings in recent centuries.
Tens of thousands of people attended Cardinal Newman’s beatification in Birmingham, England, in September 2010. At the beatification Mass, Pope Benedict XVI said that Cardinal Newman’s “insights into the relationship between faith and reason, into the vital place of revealed religion in civilized society, and into the need for a broadly based and wide-ranging approach to education were not only of profound importance for Victorian England, but continue today to inspire and enlighten many all over the world.”
Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, duchess of Cornwall, met Pope Francis in April 2017 during a visit to the Vatican. The Prince of Wales previously met Pope Benedict XVI in 2009 and St. John Paul II in 1985, with his first wife, Princess Diana.