1801-02-21

JOHN HENRY CARDINAL NEWMAN, English Catholic cardinal (d. 1890); There’s no denying that the great English churchman’s most important work, the Apologia pro Vita Sua, contains many homoerotic passages of intense beauty, but there is little reason to suspect that his love for other men extended to the flesh itself. Newman was particularly devoted to his friend Brother Ambrose, fourteen years his junior.

Grief-stricken by his death in 1875, the cardinal threw himself upon the deathbed and spent the night with the corpse. Newman joined his friend in death fifteen years later. By his own instructions, his body was buried in the same grave. By any measure, there’s was a close friendship.