Cardinal Newman declared a saint by the Pope

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Pope Francis led the open-air service in St Peter's Square, Rome, attended by tens of thousands

Cardinal John Henry Newman has been declared a saint by the Roman Catholic Church at a ceremony in Rome.

The open-air service at the Vatican, celebrated by the Pope, was attended by tens of thousand of pilgrims.

Theologian and poet Newman, who died in Birmingham in 1890, is the first English person to be made a saint in almost 50 years.

The Prince of Wales joined the Mass in St Peter's Square, at which four women were also canonised.

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Prince of Wales attended the Mass to canonise 19th-century cardinal John Henry Newman

Mother Mariam Thresia from India, Swiss Marguerite Bays, Mother Giuseppina Vannini from Italy and Brazilian-born Sister Dulce Lopes Pontes were also made saints at the Mass, celebrated by Pope Francis in Italian.

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John Henry Newman is the first English saint since the Forty Martyrs, who were executed under laws enacted during the English Reformation and canonised in 1970

Thousands of Britons travelled to Rome to join the celebration.

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Birmingham Oratory's "pride" at Cardinal Newman's canonisation

Carol Parkinson, the secretary of the Friends of Newman from Birmingham, said it was a special and emotional day.

"His integrity, his friendship, his capacity for friendship and loyalty and hard work set a very good and hopeful example to everyone," she added.

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A priest gave instructions to other clergymen ahead of the Mass for the canonisation of 19th Century British cardinal John Henry Newman

David Willey, BBC Vatican correspondent

Newman is the first Englishman born since the 1600s to be promoted to full sainthood by the Catholic Church.

To hear Pope Francis quoting the words of one of John Henry Newman's sermons from almost two centuries ago to the huge crowd gathered in St Peter's Square for the canonisation ceremony shows just how important a figure the English Cardinal and Saint has become in 21st Century inter-church relations.

Newman described the Christian character as "cheerful, easy, kind, courteous, candid, and unassuming." In fact, someone very much in tune with Pope Francis.

The new English saint is being held up as a model by Pope Francis for modern Christians to follow.

At the time of his conversion most Anglicans thought Newman was out of his mind to defect to a despised minority religion. But today he is being revered as a bridge-builder not a defector.

Cardinal Newman was born in London in 1801 and attended Trinity College, Oxford, going on to become an Anglican priest and a leading theologian.

He converted from Anglicanism to Catholicism in 1845.

Newman has been credited with two miracles by the Vatican, curing a man's crippling spinal disease and healing a woman's unstoppable bleeding.

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The service, led by Pope Francis at the Vatican, also canonised a Swiss laywoman, an Indian nun, an Italian nun and a nun known as the "Mother Teresa of Brazil"

The cardinal was beatified in 2010 by Pope Benedict in an open-air Mass in his home city of Birmingham after the first miracle was recognised.

His remains lie in a closed sarcophagus at Birmingham Oratory.

The last English canonisations were in 1970 of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales, a group of Catholics who were executed between 1535 and 1679 under laws enacted during the English Reformation.

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