Pope Pius XII on Newman

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Letter on Centenary of Newman’s Conversion

12 April 1945

Persons, not rare in your own country … are in search of the uncontaminated tradition of heavenly truth. They are urged on by this stimulus today more strongly than ever; they look to the See founded by the Prince of the Apostles, to the Mother-city of Rome, with eyes unclouded by prejudice; they have learned to reverence, here, the hallowed cradle of the Christian religion. Towards all these Our heart goes out in fervent love; what heavenly joys of consolations can We best ask for them, foresee for them? The same, surely, in which John Henry Newman, resting now from all those troubles, cares and anxieties, found at last, even in this earthly exile, happiness, and refreshment, and content.

Newman ‘gave up his whole life to the truth’ (Juvenal, Satires); all his efforts, all his untiring labours, were dedicated to that end. A time came when the beauty of Catholic teaching revealed itself clearly to his longing eyes; with that, no obstacle of any kind—his old prejudices, loss of prospects, the protests of his friends—could hold him back; nothing must stand between him and full adherence to the truth he had now mastered. He held to it ever afterwards with unshaken consistency, made it the guiding principle of his whole life, found in it, as in nothing else, full contentment of mind.