Could this be the first icon of Saint John Henry Newman?
Two years ago, Bishop Marcus was so convinced that Newman would be canonised that in anticipation, he commissioned an icon of Saint John Henry Newman from the renowned iconographer Ian Knowles who founded the Bethlehem Icon School and continues to teach icon painting in the UK and around the world.
The Bishop’s confidence was not misplaced. On 13 February this year, Pope Francis announced that Blessed John Henry Newman – beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010 on the first Papal state visit to the UK – was to be canonised in Rome on 13 October. In addition to being a Catholic convert, theologian, poet and Cardinal and hailed as one of the nineteenth century’s most significant figures, Newman will now become the first Englishman born since the C17th to be made a saint.
In addition to the Diocese including one of very few parishes on the country named for the Blessed John Henry Newman, we may now also have the first icon of the Saint.
Icons are regarded as more a form of prayer than of art and so are said to be written, rather than painted. The iconographer’s hand is guided by God and these spiritual works can take years to produce.
For information on Ian Knowles and his work, and to order prints of the St John Henry Newman icon, visit Ian’s website: https://www.eliasicons.co.uk/