Britain is to gain its first saint of modern times today when Cardinal John Henry Newman is canonised in a ceremony at the Vatican.
The Prince of Wales, the next head of the Church of England, has flown to Rome to join 20,000 Catholics at the ceremony.
Charles is also due to meet Pope Francis and is later expected to make a speech paying tribute to Cardinal Newman and his values.
Cardinal John Henry Newman is to be canonised in a ceremony at the Vatican tomorrow before Prince Charles makes a speech paying tribute to him and his values
Prince Charles (pictured with Pope Francis in April 2017) is to meet Melissa Villalobos, who said she recovered from life-threatening pregnancy complications after praying to Cardinal Newman
Prince Charles said the cannonisation at the Vatican (pictured) will be a cause for celebration, not merely for Catholics but for all who cherish the values by which he was inspired’. He will be joined by Deacon Jack Sullivan, who has attributed his recovery from a serious spinal condition to Newman
During the day, Charles will meet Melissa Villalobos, who recovered from life-threatening pregnancy complications after praying to Cardinal Newman.
Also in attendance will be Deacon Jack Sullivan, whose recovery from a serious spinal condition was also attributed to Newman.
In an article yesterday, the Prince said that the canonisation ‘will be a cause for celebration, not merely for Catholics but for all who cherish the values by which he was inspired’.
He also said ‘his example is needed more than ever’ – and that ‘whatever our beliefs or tradition, we can be thankful for the gifts that Newman shared’.
Cardinal Newman was a Church of England priest before converting to Catholicism in 1845 and is seen as a bridging figure between Anglicanism and Catholicism.
When he died in 1890, thousands took to the streets for his funeral procession.
The most recently declared British saint, in 1976, was John Ogilvie, a Scottish martyr who died in 1615.
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