Newman’s Account of Ambrose St. John’s Death

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2011


Both Ambrose St. John (1815–1875) and John Henry Newman (1801–1890), who were received into the Roman Catholic Church in 1845, became members of the Birmingham Oratory. Newman’s closest companion for over three decades, St. John’s death was extremely painful for Newman, not only because it was unexpected, but because of his devotion to Newman as well as his dedication to his spiritual duties. Along with presenting Newman’s narrative of the last few weeks of St. John’s life, this essay raises the question: why did Newman write this “account.”