Relics of Newman

Fr. Blake goes from strength to strength.

He posted an entry about the relics of Ven. John Henry Newman.

casket containing relics of the Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman
(1801-1890), along with items recovered from his grave at Rednal, were
solemnly placed in the chapel of St Charles Borromeo, at the end of an
historic High Mass of All Saints, celebrated by Archbishop Vincent
Nichols, in Latin, at the Birmingham Oratory, Edgbaston, on Sunday 2

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. When I saw the title of this post in my Google reader I was surprised that Paul Newman’s case for beatification had advanced so quickly :)

  2. Jane Fulthorpe says:


    That isn’t even remotely funny. If you want to challenge me on it, just get started. And remember: think before you comment.

  3. Geoffrey says:

    I got a chuckle.

  4. Jack007 says:

    Times are already tough enough.
    We aren’t talking about the Blessed Sacrament or Mary’s virginity.
    A little humor is what makes us Catholic, not Puritans.

    As an aside, the custom of the recognition, transfer etc. of relics can be hard for non Catholics and some Catholics alike.
    I find it fascinating.

    Jack in KC

  5. Doug says:

    Am I missing something? Jane doesn’t sound like someone I want to challenge, and I’m certainly not. I am curious though as to why Michael needed to be slapped down in such a combative manner.

    I for one perceived no offense in his comment.

  6. Peter says:

    I have watched the event but I believe the Mass was more Pontifical Mass in
    the ordinary form and not Solemn High Mass. The Ceremony was rather beautiful
    though. Ad orientem, seven candles, Roman chasubles, unbleached candles, etc.

  7. leo says:

    the chapel of st charles is on the epistle side of the oratory church and is an austere yet elegant counter to the lavish shrine to st philip on the gospel side, although there are few earthly remains i wonder if an effigy of newman might yet be displayed , Madame Tussards has a waxwork of the cardinal that dates from the early days of the exhibition which was still displayed the last time i visited

  8. Sharon says:

    I am really surprised that the coffin contained no bones. Does anyone know the reason for that?

  9. Phil (NL) says:

    Sharon: In the article the BBC website ran, the explanation was that the coffin had been in very humid ground for over a century, and wasn’t sealed against that moist. Under such conditions ‘dust to dust’ can happen rather rapidly.

  10. Maureen says:

    Bones and teeth can last a long time — thousands of years — if the soil is relatively well-drained, and thus dries out. Clay is particularly good, if I remember correctly. But if you have sopping wet soil that stays sopping wet all the time (as in the marshy ground at Newman’s grave), my understanding is that the water and bacteria and micro-critters pretty well dissolve and eat away everything, after a while. Then the component minerals tend to drain into the soil, and nothing much is left. I’m impressed that there were even scraps of clothes in the coffin; must have been tough fabric they dressed him in.

  11. Maureen says:

    Forgot to add that bogs are different, as they kinda cure you into leather with their chemical composition.

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