Cardinal John Henry Newman, the founding Rector of University College Dublin, is potentially on track to be canonised next year following the Vatican’s formal recognition of a second miracle performed by him.

In a newsletter to his diocese last week, Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom wrote that “[it] looks now as if Newman might be canonised, all being well, later next year”, Catholic News Agency reported yesterday. The agency reported that Cardinal Newman’s second miracle concerned the “healing of an American pregnant woman” who had prayed to him following a “life-threatening diagnosis”.

Before UCD’s founder can be canonised, a commission of bishops must approve the recommendation. Pope Francis must then declare Cardinal Newman a saint. He would be the first English person who has lived since the 17th Century to be officially recognised as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church.

After an examination of his life and work by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Cardinal Newman was proclaimed venerable in 1991 by Pope John Paul II, a requirement for beatification. Beatification is the recognition by the Catholic Church of a dead person’s entrance into heaven and their capacity to intercede on behalf of individuals who pray in their name. Cardinal Newman was beatified in 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI.

Cardinal Newman’s first confirmed miracle was the healing of a deacon in Boston, Massachusetts, from a disabling spinal condition.

Born in 1801, Cardinal Newman was first an Anglican priest before becoming a Catholic priest and later a cardinal, created by Pope Leo XIII. He went to Dublin to become the founding Rector of the Catholic University in Dublin in 1854, founding the Literary & Historical Society the following year. His philosophy of education was published in a volume of lectures entitled The Idea of a University.

Catholic student organisations at non-Catholic universities are often named in his honour, such as the Newman societies in UCD and Oxford.

Cardinal John Henry Newman died of pneumonia on 11 August 1890 in Birmingham, after founding the Birmingham Oratory.