Cardinal Newman: His Beatification and Work "The Dream of Gerontius"

    On September 19th, John Henry Newman was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI during his closing mass in England.  A man studying to be a deacon, named Jack Sullivan, who was crippled by a rare spinal condition, was cured after he prayed to Cardinal Newman. This is the miracle that set Newman's cause for sainthood in motion. An estimated 55,000 Brits braved the damp to see Pope's Beatification Mass.

    While researching and learning more about the life and works of Blessed John Henry Newman I came across a poem called "The Dream of Gerontius" which was written by Newman. I found it interesting and am posting the First Phase of the poem below.


    JESU, MARIA - I am near to death,

    And Thou art calling me; I know it now.
    Not by the token of this faltering breath,
    This chill at heart,, this dampness on my
    brow,— (Jesu, have mercy! Mary, pray for me!)
    'tis this new feeling, never felt before,
    (Be with me, Lord, in my extremity!)
    That I am going, that I am no more.
    ‘Tis this strange innermost abandonment,
    (Lover of souls! great God! I look to Thee,)
    This emptying out of each constituent
    And natural force, by which I come to be.
    Pray for me, 0 my friends; a visitant
    Is knocking his dire summons at my door,
    The like of whom, to scare me and to daunt,
    Has never, never come to me before;
    ‘us death,—O loving friends, your prayers!— ‘tis he!
    As though my very being had given way,
    As though I was no more a substance now,
    And could fall back on nought to be my stay,
    (Help, loving Lord! Thou my sole Refuge,
    And turn no whither, but must needs decay
    And drop from out the universal frame
    Into that shapeless, scopeless, blank abyss,
    That utter nothingness, of which I came:
    This is it that has come to pass in me;
    O horror! this it is, my dearest, this;
    So pray for me, my friends, who have not strength to pray.


    KYRIE eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie elei­son.
    Holy Mary, pray for him.
    All holy Angels, pray for him.
    Choirs of the righteous, pray for him.
    Holy Abraham, pray for him.
    St John Baptist, St Joseph, pray for him.
    St Peter, St Paul, St Andrew, St John,
    All Apostles, all Evangelists, pray for him.
    All holy Disciples of the Lord, pray for him.
    All holy Innocents, pray for him.
    All holy Martyrs, all holy Confessors,
    All holy Hermits, all holy Virgins,
    All ye Saints of God, pray for him.


    ROUSE thee, my fainting soul, and play the man;
    And through such waning span Of life and thought as still has to be trod,
    Prepare to meet thy God.
    And while the storm of that bewilderment Is for a season spent,
    And, ere afresh the ruin on thee fall, Use well the interval.


    BE merciful, be gracious; spare him, Lord.
    Be merciful, be gracious; Lord, deliver him.
    From the sins that are past;
    From Thy frown and Thine ire;
    From the perils of dying;
    From any complying
    With sin, or denying
    His God, or relying, On self, at the last;
    From the nethermost fire;
    From all that is evil;
    From power of the devil;
    Thy servant deliver,
    For once and for ever.
    By Thy birth, and by Thy Cross,
    Rescue him from endless loss;
    By Thy death and burial,
    Save him from a final fall;
    By Thy rising from the tomb, By Thy mounting up above,
    By the Spirit’s gracious love,
    Save him in the day of doom.


    SANCTUS fortis, Sanctus Deus
    De Profundis oro te,
    Miserere, Judex meus
    Parce mihi Domine.
    Firmly I believe and truly God is Three, and God is One;
    And I next acknowledge duly Manhood taken by the Son.
    And I trust and hope most fully In that Manhood crucified;
    And each thought and deed unruly Do to death, as He has died.
    Simply to His grace and wholly Light and life and strength belong,
    And I love, supremely, solely, Him the holy, Him the strong.
    Sanctus fortis Sanctus Deus,
    De Profundis oro te
    Miserere, Judex meus
    Parce mihi Domine.
    And I hold in veneration,
    For the love of Him alone,
    Holy Church, as His creation, And her teachings, as His own.
    And I take with joy whatever Now besets me, pain or fear,
    And with a strong will I sever All the ties which bind me here.
    Adoration aye be given,
    With and through the angelic host, To the God of earth and heaven,
    Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
    Sanctus fortis, Sanctus Deus,
    De Profundis oro te,
    Miserere, Judex meus,
    Mortis in discrimine.
    I can no more; for now it comes again,
    That sense of ruin, which is worse than pain,
    That masterful negation and collapse
    Of all that makes me man; as though I bent
    Over the dizzy brink
    Of some sheer infinite descent;
    Or worse, as though
    Down, down for ever I was falling through
    The solid framework of created things,
    And needs must sink and sink
    Into the vast abyss. And, crueler still,
    A fierce and restless fright begins to fill
    The mansion of my soul. And, worse and worse,
    Some bodily form of ill
    Floats on the wind, with many a loathsome curse
    Tainting the hallowed air, and laughs, and flaps
    Its hideous wings,
    And makes me wild with horror and dismay.
    0 Jesu, help! pray for me, Mary, pray!
    Some angel, Jesu such as came to Thee
    In Thine own agony....
    Mary, pray for me.
    Joseph, pray for me.
    Mary, pray for me.


    RESCUE him, O Lord, in this his evil hour,
    As of old so many by Thy gracious power: (Amen.)
    Enoch and Elias from the common doom; (Amen.)
    Noe from the waters in a saving home; (Amen.) Abraham from th’ abounding guilt of Heathen­esse; (Amen.)
    Job from all his multiform and fell distress; (Amen.)
    Isaac, when his father’s knife was raised to slay; (Amen.)
    Lot from burning Sodom on its judgment-day; (Amen.)
    Moses from the land of bondage and despair; (Amen.)
    Daniel from the hungry lions in their lair; (Amen.)
    And the Children Three amid the furnace-flame; (Amen.)
    Chaste Susanna from the slander and the shame; (Amen.)
    David from Golia and the wrath of Saul (Amen.)
    And the two Apostles from the prison-thrall; (Amen.)
    Thecla from her torments; (Amen:)
    —so, to show Thy power, Rescue this Thy servant in his evil hour.


    NOVISSIMA hora est; and I fain would sleep,
    The pain has wearied me.... Into Thy hands
    O Lord, into Thy hands ....


    PROFICISCERE, anima Christiana, de hoc mundo!
    Go forth upon thy journey, Christian soul!
    Go from this world! Go, in the name of God
    The omnipotent Father, who created thee!
    Go, in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord,
    Son of the living God, who bled for thee!
    Go, in the name of the Holy Spirit, who
    Hath been poured out on thee! Go, in the name
    Of Angels and Archangels; in the name
    Of Thrones and Dominations; in the name
    Of Princedoms and of Powers; and in the name
    Of Cherubim and Seraphim, go forth!
    Go, in the name of Patriarchs and Prophets; And of Apostles and Evangelists,
    Of Martyrs and Confessors; in the name
    Of holy Monks and Hermits; in the name
    Of holy Virgins; and all Saints of God,
    Both men and women, go Go on thy course;
    And may thy place to-day be found in peace,
    And may thy dwelling be the Holy Mount
    Of Sion :—through the Same, through Christ, our Lord.

    Edward Elgar turned the text from Blessed John Henry Newman's poem into
    an oratorio, called Gerontius.  I found this video on youtube which was performed by the London Symphony Orchestra:

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