Page last updated at 14:16 GMT, Monday, 14 September 2009 15:16 UK

Miracle cure deacon to visit UK

Cardinal John Henry Newman
Cardinal Newman has been beatified by Pope Benedict XVI

A US clergyman who says he was cured from spinal disease after praying to Birmingham's 19th Century theologian Cardinal Newman, is to visit the city.

Pope Benedict XVI approved claims the cardinal's intervention miraculously cured Deacon Jack Sullivan.

Deacon Sullivan, of Boston, Massachusetts, will visit in November.

The cardinal, a convert to Roman Catholicism from Anglicanism, could become the first non-martyred English saint since the Reformation.

Cardinal Newman, who died in 1890, founded Birmingham Oratory and was known for his work with the poor.

Free of pain

Deacon Sullivan, 70, prayed for his help while suffering intense pain in 2001.

He spoke of how he had been able to walk and had become completely free of pain after the prayer.

In July, Pope Benedict XVI cleared the way for the beatification of Cardinal Newman - to take place next year in the Archdiocese of Birmingham - after he recognised the cure as a miracle.

There has been a growing campaign for Cardinal Newman to be elevated to sainthood.

'Power of prayer'

But a second miracle attributed to him must also be recognised by the Pope in order for this to happen.

Deacon Sullivan will also visit London and Oxford, the Catholic Church in England and Wales said.

He is expected to visit places connected with the life of Cardinal Newman, including Littlemore, near Oxford, where the cardinal was received into the Catholic Church.

The Most Rev Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster and leader of Catholics in England and Wales, said: "I am delighted to welcome Deacon Jack Sullivan to this country.

"His presence and testimony will help us to understand more deeply the power of prayer and the importance of intercession to those who can pray for us in the presence of God."

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