The Vatican is close to attributing a miracle to Cardinal Newman that would pave the way for Britain's most famous convert to Roman Catholicism to become this country's first saint for 40 years.[The following is a bit amusing, suggesting that Tony Blair's giving photographs of Newman to Pope Bendict, raised Newman's profile. Really? He had a pretty decent profile already, one would think!]
Insiders in Rome believe that the Vatican will announce a decision within months, meaning that the former Anglican whose conversion shocked Victorian England could be beatified as early as next year.
The controversial theologian and writer of the hymn Lead Kindly Light, who converted in 1845 and died in 1890, would then be declared "Blessed" and be one step from canonisation, for which a second miracle would be needed.
The profile of John Henry Newman was boosted when Tony Blair gave Pope Benedict XVI three signed photographs of him at their meeting in Rome in June.