Pope Francis has signed a decree recognising a miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed John Henry Newman, the English cardinal, clearing the way for his canonisation.
The Vatican announced today (Wednesday) that Pope Francis had signed the decree the day before.
In the sainthood cause of Blessed Newman, Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth had reported in November that the proposed miracle involved a young law graduate from the Archdiocese of Chicago who faced life-threatening complications during her pregnancy but suddenly recovered when she prayed to the English cardinal for help.
Blessed Newman was born in London in 1801 and was ordained an Anglican priest in 1925. He was a leader in the Oxford Movement in the 1830s, which emphasised the Catholic roots of Anglicanism.
After a succession of clashes with Anglican bishops made him a virtual outcast from the Church of England, he joined the Catholic Church at the age of 44 and was ordained a Catholic priest in 1846. Pope Leo XIII made him a cardinal in 1879 while respecting his wishes not to be ordained a bishop.
A theologian and poet, he died in 1890 and his sainthood cause was opened in 1958. Pope Benedict XVI beatified him in Birmingham, England, in 2010.
The date for his canonisation will be announced after Pope Francis holds a meeting of cardinals to formalise their support for declaring Blessed Newman a saint.