Prefatory Narrative

{ix} THE title, Visite di Calore, had been intended for this book in addition to that of Addresses to Cardinal Newman with his Replies. It is the name given in Rome to the visits a new Cardinal there receives on the three days of the ceremonies of his creation; a day being allotted to each class of visitors who come to do him honour and to welcome him. The first is given to the Cardinals; the second to the magistracy and distinguished residents; the third to people generally. The Cardinals come according to their pleasure, to make or renew personal acquaintance with their new colleague, and thus to place him and themselves on an intimate, indeed a fraternal footing. The new Prince of the Church is welcomed as a brother and fellow-counsellor of its Supreme Head, and an equal of all; and this glad feeling shows itself no less distinctly, however differently, among the others whose visits follow in due order, and thus their name has obtained in Rome of Visite di Calore, Visits of Affection.

The worth of the collection for printing entire has been questioned, some persons thinking the preservation of a few {x} of the Replies for biographical purposes sufficient [Note 1]. Other objections have also been made; such, for instance, as the egotistical effect of a number of speeches, etc., from the same speaker, all of them on one subject relating to himself,—an objection that the Cardinal anticipated and felt greatly at the time. It was painful to him to speak so much of himself, but, to be egotistical was, he said, an unavoidable necessity of the occasion. He was glad therefore to be able sometimes to have recourse to a Sermon or Religious Instruction rather than make a formal reply. Nevertheless, in spite of objections and anything that may be defective in composition or otherwise, both Addresses and the Replies to them are given without reserve, as a memorial of a very interesting episode in the Cardinal's life. Included with them are some papers read by him, even some notes of sermons, which took the place of Replies. They make an almost complete collection of what passed from and to public bodies in connection with his elevation. A few Replies made impromptu are from the notes of persons present. Newspaper extracts have been added to give some little knowledge of {xi} the course of events. Names have been preserved as much as possible, to show the widespread interest taken in the Holy Father's act, and the trouble, as the Cardinal felt it, to which people put themselves, to do him honour.

Dr. Newman was created Cardinal, with the Deaconry of St. George in Velabro in the first Consistory for the creation of Cardinals held by the new Pope Leo XIII., May 12, 1879, the Cardinal's age being seventy-eight years and three months [Note 2].

Among those raised to the Sacred College with him were Mgr. Pecci, the Pope's brother, Fr. Zigliara of the Order of St. Dominic, and Mgr. Hergenroether; these, with himself, as Deacons; also, as Cardinal Priest, Mgr. Alimonda, Bishop of Albenga, afterwards Archbishop of Turin, who, many years before, had done Dr. Newman great and kind service in connection with the Achilli trial. Fr. Capecelatro, of the Oratory at Naples, now Cardinal Archbishop of Capua, became at the same time one of the four Palatine Prelates. He, too, had acted as a friend towards Dr. Newman in what he had written of him.

Before, however, St. George in Velabro had been fixed upon, two other Deaconries {xii} had been named for him; first, that of St. Nicholas in Carcere, then, that of St. Adrian in Foro Romano.

The choice of St. Nicholas seemed to have been a special kindness from the Holy Father; for, besides being an ancient and a handsome church, it had recently been thoroughly repaired and decorated by Pius IX. Dr. Newman went to see it and it pleased him much. There was an appearance of life about the church; and it had the advantage of a capitular body, though small, being attached to it. He was pleased also that it was in a well-populated neighbourhood of apparently poor but industrious people. Moreover, from a remark he made to those who accompanied him, it was clear that he was turning over in his mind the use he might make of the church. For although the Holy Father had given him the extraordinary favour of permission to live in England instead of at Rome, he himself, nevertheless, contemplated residing there from time to time, and it pleased him to think that his possession of this church, and his jurisdiction therein, might give these poor people a claim on his services.

However, in one or two days, the Holy Father found, to his own disappointment, that one of the Cardinals, who had acquired the right to change his Titular Church, had determined to do so for that of St. Nicholas in Carcere, and he had the right to take it. {xiii}

Word of this was sent to Dr. Newman in a most kind message from the Holy Father; with a special injunction that he was to be told also, that although all Cardinals are really equal, whatever their title may be, yet the original intention had been to place him among the Cardinal Priests. It had happened, however, that most of the vacancies in the Sacred College were among the Deaconries, and there were only enough in the Presbyteral Titles for those Archbishops and Bishops who were then to be created Cardinals. The Presbyteral Title, the message went on to say, which had seemed to be available for him had, at the last moment, been claimed by the King of Portugal for a Bishop of that country; and thus a double disappointment had been caused. Then, almost with an apology for the necessary change with regard to St. Nicholas, the Holy Father asked him to take the title of St. Adrian in Foro Romano. St. Adrian's, however, was presently changed for the title by which Dr. Newman was afterwards known, viz., of St. George in Velabro, for which a number of British residents in Rome petitioned the Pope on account of St. George being the Patron of England.

Among other gracious acts and marks of consideration from the Holy Father, one appears to be specially noteworthy. It had been known that Leo XIII., very soon after his election, on being asked {xiv} by an intimate friend, the Commendatore de Rossi, "What, Holy Father, will be your policy as Pope?" had replied, "Wait till you see my first Cardinal; that will show you what will be typical of my reign".

Indeed there are circumstances which would make it appear that the Holy Father had even thought of Dr. Newman's elevation almost contemporaneously with his own election; and that later, when his merits were brought before him by various prominent persons independently of each other, he was glad to make them, and, indeed, the outer world generally, co-operators, as it were, with himself, in his act of grace to Dr. Newman. Besides, as the conversation between the Pope and the Commendatore de Rossi was told by the Commendatore to Dr. Newman's companions in support of his assertion that in the Holy Father's mind Dr. Newman was his first Cardinal, and the Pope's brother, Cardinal Pecci, was named as being cognisant of the fact, it may be concluded that this was really the case. So determined had the Holy Father been on Dr. Newman's elevation, that, when in a preliminary Congregation it had been urged that he was ineligible, inasmuch as he had never occupied any of those positions from which new Cardinals are commonly selected—nor was he intended for such—and that moreover he would not be living in Rome, nor was {xv} there any precedent known for such a departure from the constitutions of the Sacred College, the Pope at once replied that he himself would make such a precedent in favour of Dr. Newman [Note 3]. This the Pope did, May 12, 1879, in Rome, Dr. Newman going there for the purpose. In this again the Pope had shown his great consideration for him, by an intimation that, if he preferred it, he should become Cardinal without coming to Rome.

The first intimation of the Holy Father's purpose which reached Dr. Newman himself came through the customary channel of ecclesiastical communications, viz., by a letter written officially and under the formal bond of secrecy by the Cardinal Secretary to Cardinal Manning as Archbishop of the Province, and by him forwarded to Dr. Ullathorne, Bishop of Birmingham, at Oscott, that he might ascertain from Dr. Newman how he would be disposed to regard a possible offer to raise him to the Sacred College. {xvi}

The Bishop asked Dr. Newman to come to him; but as both of them were at that time ill, and at some distance apart, Father Thomas Pope of the Oratory became their intermediary, Dr. Newman as yet not knowing what was really to come. In this way, on Saturday, February 1, the communication was made to him, and by February 2 he had made his reply, for transmission to Rome [Note 4] which he himself took to Oscott the following day. In this reply, while expressing his gratitude and pleasure at being thought worthy of this great dignity, nevertheless, with all modesty and, it may be said, with generosity of purpose, he suggested various objections against himself personally for so important a position, should the Holy Father on reading the letter think fit to entertain them. It was this letter which gave rise to the untoward report, already mentioned, of his refusal.

The first of the letters was from Cardinal Manning to Cardinal Nina, the Secretary of State. It was written with the object of making known to the new Pope the desire of many leading Catholics that Dr. Newman's services to the Church should receive a fitting acknowledgment, and to suggest from himself [the Cardinal] that that acknowledgment should be Dr. Newman's elevation to the Sacred College. But it so happened that {xvii} this letter failed of its primary object; for owing to the bearer not going to Rome direct, its delivery was delayed so long that meantime the subject had been brought before the Pope by the Duke of Norfolk in private audience at the close of the year 1878. As a testimony to Dr. Newman's services and worth, the letter could not perhaps have been more forcible; and eventually Cardinal Manning had the satisfaction of knowing that it had been favourably received.

In connection with the despatch of the Cardinal Secretary's official letter [see p. xxi], the Holy Father had, as will be remembered, even more than suggested the practicability of Dr. Newman receiving the biretta in England, and thus becoming Cardinal without the risk to his health of the journey to Rome. But Dr. Newman would not avail himself of this kindness; he preferred to receive the biretta from the hand of the Pope himself, lest any other procedure might seem to derogate from the spontaneity of the papal act. At once therefore, when Holy Week and Easter Day had passed, he left Birmingham for Rome [Note 5].

It is not to be wondered at that the excitements of this time coming suddenly upon Dr. Newman at his years, should have overtaxed his strength and made {xviii} him liable to become the prey of any epidemic disease. This was actually the case, and it had been anticipated by him.

When he left England the country was covered with deep snow, and notwithstanding the time of year, snow and rain accompanied him the whole journey to Rome. He arrived there Thursday in Low week [April 24], and remained until June (4), renting a large flat looking upon the Via Gregoriana and Via Sistina. He had three audiences of the Pope, but being more or less ill the whole of his stay in Rome, each interview was under the disadvantage of illness [Note 6]. The illness that delayed him on his way to Rome was a cold which there developed into most serious {xix} pneumonia; and hardly had he got the better of this, and gone through the ceremonies of his elevation, when malaria came upon him with such violence that, but for Dr. Louis Aitken, his physician, who abandoned himself to the care of him, it is not likely that he could have borne up against it as he did. The climate of Rome had never suited him, and that year the weather was more than usually bad. Pneumonia was an epidemic, carrying off residents and strangers alike; among them Mr. William Palmer, whose guest he was to have been during his sojourn. Cold wind and rain were almost continuous, and made a journey northwards too hazardous in the delicate state of his lungs. But the summer months had already begun, and there was fear that the wet and cold might suddenly give way to excessive heat, in which case, considering his weakness, the only hope for him, if any, would have been his speedy removal to the Alban Hills. A favourable change, however, enabled him, after taking leave of the Pope, to go to Leghorn; but he at once fell ill again, and so much worse than before that his surviving one particular night can be regarded only as a signal act of God's Providence, which frustrated an event of such tragic mournfulness as his death would have been at that time and place [Note 7]. It had indeed been whispered {xx} "he is dying," when the Cardinal, slightly rising, asked for quinine, naming an extraordinarily large quantity, and he even commanded it to be given to him. This done, he ceased to become worse, and in about a fortnight Dr. Aitken brought him slowly home [Note 8].

WM. P. NEVILLE.

THE ORATORY, BIRMINGHAM,
August 11, 1900. {xxi}

I.

Official Offer of the Cardinalate.
Cardinal Nina to Dr. Newman.

VERY REV. FATHER,
The Holy Father deeply appreciating the genius and learning which distinguish you, your piety, the zeal displayed by you in the exercise of the Holy Ministry, your devotion and filial attachment to the Holy Apostolic See, and the signal services you have for long years rendered to religion, has decided on giving you a public and solemn proof of his esteem and good-will. And to this end he will deign to raise you to the honours of the Sacred Purple, in the next Consistory, the precise day of which will be notified to you in due time.

In forwarding you this joyful announcement by its fitting and prescribed channel, I cannot refrain from congratulating your Paternity on seeing your merits rewarded in so splendid a manner by the august Head of the Church, and I rejoice in heart that I shall very soon have you as a colleague in the Sacred Senate, of which you will not fail to be one of the chief ornaments.

Accept, I entreat you, this expression of my regard, and at the same time the assurance of the particular esteem with which I sign myself,
Of your Very Rev. Paternity,
The true servant,
L. CARD. NINA.

From the Vatican, March 15, 1879. {xxii}

II.

Dr. Newman to Cardinal Nina.

MY LORD CARDINAL,
Were I to delay my answer to the very generous communication your Eminence deigned to make to me on the part of his Holiness, until I could write what seems to be befitting and adequate to express all the feeling of my heart, I fear that I should never write at all. For the longer I think of it, the more generous and gracious the condescension of the Holy Father seems to me, and the more deeply I feel that I am altogether unworthy of it.

I am overpowered, first of all, by the weight of the high dignity to which the Holy Father condescends to raise me, and still more by the words he has used to announce to me his intention, words breathing a goodness so fatherly, and implying an approval the more touching and precious that it is the Vicar of Christ who awards it.

I venture to hope that the Holy Father will allow me, as soon as the weather becomes milder, and the journey less toilsome, to present myself before his sacred person, that I may try to tell him how deeply I feel his immense goodness, and may receive his apostolic blessing.

I cannot close this letter, my Lord Cardinal, without begging you to accept the homage of my profound respect and my deep-felt gratitude for the kind courtesy with which you have condescended to discharge the commission of his Holiness.

I have the honour to kiss the Sacred Purple and to be
Your Eminence's most humble and devoted servant,
JOHN H. NEWMAN. {xxiii}

III.

Dr. Newman to Pope Leo XIII.

HOLY FATHER,
It is not that I have been unmindful of the most welcome letter with which your Holiness has so honoured me, but for the last two months I have been tossing about in a whirlpool of correspondence, and have not, indeed, yet reached the shore. So I venture humbly to ask you to pardon my delay in answering it, and impute it not to sloth, or to unbecoming neglect, but simply to necessity. I hope that I shall soon be in Rome, and then you will, I know, with your wonted goodness, tell me with your own lips that you forgive me [Note 9].

———————

The Paragraph in The Times, February, 18, 1879, that led to the earlier letters

{1} "We are informed that Pope Leo XIII. has intimated his desire to raise Dr. Newman to the rank of Cardinal, and that, with expressions of deep respect for the Holy See, Dr. Newman has excused himself from accepting the Sacred Purple. It is understood that some years ago the late Pope offered the Prelacy to Dr. Newman, who declined it in the same spirit which has caused him now to shrink from the higher dignity."

[The more attention was drawn to this paragraph from its being printed in unusually large letters.—Editor's note.]

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Notes

1. [Hardly one of the Replies, in fact, but has its own characteristic and value. The final paragraph of the last reply in the collection is, perhaps, as beautiful as anything the cardinal ever wrote. He thought himself an unready man, but, pen in hand, he became with practice more than equal to the calls made upon him, as the Replies conclusively prove.]
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2. [In one of the rough proofs, Fr. Neville's Preface begins with the above paragraph. The whole was submitted by him to several readers, including the Editors, for any comments, omissions, changes of paragraphs and small verbal alterations.]
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3. Later on it became known that Cardinal de Berulle, when made cardinal by Pope Urban VIII. in 1627, was also a simple priest, but his creation did not really anticipate that of Cardinal Newman as a precedent. De Berulle was a Minister of State, he was the ambassador who had successfully carried through the difficult negotiations for peace between France and Spain; he had, moreover, been employed by his sovereign on delicate and confidential missions to the Pope. Services such as these gave him a claim, indeed, almost a customary right, if he wished it, to be nominated by his own sovereign for a seat in the Sacred College; and it was at the prayer of the King of France and of the Queen Mother that Urban VIII. compelled him to accept it.
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4. [See Appendix, p. 310, for the Latin letter to the Bishop with Translation.]
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5. [He was accompanied by Frs. William P. Neville, Thomas A. Pope, and Thomas P. A. Eaglesim, of the Birmingham Oratory.]
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6. Writing to acknowledge Bishop Ullathorne's letter of welcome home, the Cardinal speaks of his stay in Italy thus:—

"THE ORATORY,
"BIRMINGHAM, July 3, 1879.
"MY DEAR LORD,
"… Only think, I was six weeks in Rome, and allowed to say Mass no more than three times—did not go into more than half a dozen churches, that is the great Basilicas, and entered St. Peter's only once—on St. Philip's day, instead of going to the Chiesa Nuova, as the Pope wished, I was confined to my room—could not even hear Mass on the Ascension—and when I got to Leghorn, instead of enjoying the fresh sea breezes and the beautiful weather, was seized with two distinct complaints, and confined to my bed or bedroom for a fortnight. I have been wonderfully blessed with good medical advice all through this trial, and have been brought home safely ...
"Your Lordship's affectionate friend and servant,
"JOHN H. CARD. NEWMAN."

[See Appendix, p. 312, for other disappointments, narrated by Fr. Neville.]

See also Letters of Lord Blachford, edited by G. E. Marindin, p. 407, re sojourn at Rome and Leghorn. John Murray, London.
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7. [A friend, Mrs. Sconce, was of signal service to the travellers during this anxious time of sickness.]
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8. [Leaving Leghorn on Thursday, June 19, 1879, the Cardinal passed the night at Genoa, and on Saturday following assisted at Mass in the Church of the Oratory at Turin. A week later, on Saturday, June 28, he had arrived at Brighton (see p. 101).]
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9. [See Appendix, p. 309, for original Italian and Latin of I. and III. above.]

Concerning the second, the letter to the Pope, it can be said that Dr. Newman had somehow received from Rome the question as he described it: "Are you coming to Rome, or are you not?" and he considered or knew that it had been prompted by the Pope.

The [last] letter, as given, is probably the first throw off—or the substance—of what he [Dr. Newman] had in mind to say in his intended reply. The text of it is interlined upon a similarly rough copy of a letter to Fr. Rossi, of the Roman Oratory. As the letter that went to Fr. Rossi is dated March 23, 1879, that, therefore, may be taken as about the date of [II. and III.]. The two letters had already been sent to Rome before the Cardinal left England. They are not dated. The first letter to Cardinal Nina (II.) may be assumed to be the rough copy in English of the reply to the official notification to him of the Pope's intention, a translation, in all probability, of what actually went.

[As Cardinal Nina's letter appears in Italian, not Latin, Dr. Newman may have written his reply in English.]
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