LEICESTER, United Kingdom – Prince Charles will attend the Oct. 13 Canonization of Cardinal John Henry Newman at the Vatican.

According to a statement from Clarence House, the official office of the Prince of Wales, Charles will attend a reception at the Pontifical Urban College following the Mass. Newman studied at the college while preparing to become a Catholic priest.

Newman was a leading proponent of the Oxford Movement in the Anglican church, which advocated reintroducing older practices into worship. He eventually converted to Catholicism in 1845, becoming a priest soon thereafter. He was created a cardinal by Leo XIII in 1879. He died in 1890. Newman was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in Birmingham during the pope’s 2010 visit to the United Kingdom.

Newman will be the first English saint since the Forty Martyrs were canonized in 1970, and the first British saint since Scottish St. John Ogilvie in 1976.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster and president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, said he was “delighted” about the announcement.

“Cardinal Newman’s exploration of faith, depth of personal courage, intellectual clarity and cultural sensitivity make him a deeply admired follower of Christ. His ministry, especially among the poor, is a permanent sign of the Church’s pastoral compassion and a challenge to us all today,” the cardinal said.

“As one who has been a lifelong champion of the spiritual in everyday life, to promote understanding between faiths, and who has sought to alleviate poverty and disadvantage through his charitable work, The Prince of Wales is particularly qualified to mark the canonization, which will be such a significant and joyful moment for this country,” Nichols concluded.

Follow Charles Collins on Twitter: @CharlesinRome

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