Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890) was an Anglican clergyman who converted to the Catholic Church in 1845 at age 44 and was ordained a priest. A theologian and Church historian, he devoted his life to Catholic education, pastoral work, and writing. Besides being a theologian and writer, John Henry Cardinal Newman was a man of prayer.
Cardinal Newman founded the Catholic University of Ireland in 1854 and was named a cardinal by Pope Leo XIII in 1879. He will be canonized by Pope Francis on October 13, 2019.
The prayer below, also known as the “Fragrance Prayer” or the “Radiating Christ prayer” owes its origin in part to Cardinal Newman. We need to live so that others may detect Our Lord’s “fragrance”–His love, His peace, His joy, His mercy–wherever we go.
Our Lord has shown us by word and example how to live the Christian life, including how to treat others. Let us imitate Him each and every day and love one another as Christ has loved us (cf. John 13:34).
Cardinal Newman Prayer
Dear Jesus, help me to spread Your fragrance wherever I go.
Flood my soul with Your spirit and life.
Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly, that my life may only be a radiance of Yours.
Shine through me, and be so in me that every soul I come in contact with may feel Your presence in my soul.
Let them look up and see no longer me, but only Jesus!
Stay with me and then I shall begin to shine as You shine, so to shine as to be a light to others.
The light, O Jesus, will be all from You; none of it will be mine.
It will be You shining on others through me.
Let me thus praise You the way You love best, by shining on those around me.
Let me preach You without preaching, not by words but by my example, by the catching force of the sympathetic influence of what I do, the evident fullness of the love my heart bears to You.