Mother Teresa moves towards sainthood
Vatican City: The Vatican today approved a miracle attributed to Mother Teresa
of Calcutta, moving the nun who spent her life helping the poorest of the poor
one step closer to sainthood, Vatican sources said.
The move means the nun, who was known as the ''saint of the gutter'' will
likely be beatified, or declared a blessed of the Church, next year.
The miracle was the subject of a closed-door meeting at the Vatican in which
doctors explained it to cardinals, bishops and priests who are members of the
saint-making department known as the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
The miracle involved a 30-year-old Indian woman, Monica Besra, who was
suffering from a stomach tumour and was healed inexplicably after praying to
At such meetings doctors tell the members of the congregation they have no
medical explanation for the healing.
Last month the same department decided Mother Teresa, who died in 1997,
possessed ''heroic virtues'' of the Christian faith for her services to the
poor and her holiness.
''She was a real holy woman. She lived her life according to the Gospel in the
most authentic way,'' said Cardinal Pio Laghi, who knew the diminutive nun very
well. ''She deserved the preferential, fast track to beatification,'' Laghi
If the Pope signs the decree approving the miracle, probably in December,
a beatification ceremony can be held next year, the sources said. A second
miracle attributed to Mother Teresa would be needed after the beatification
for her to be declared a saint.
Under Church rules, five years must pass after a person dies before the long
bureaucratic procedure for sainthood can begin. But in 1999, Pope John Paul
granted a dispensation so the procedure could start less than two years after
Devotees of Mother Teresa began pressing the Vatican soon after her death to
speed up the nun's sainthood cause, saying her holiness was clear to many
around the world. The Albanian-born nun, who died at the age of 87, founded
the Missionaries of Charities. Her nuns and priests today continue her work
around the world, including in some ex-communist countries from which she was
A Nobel Peace Prize winner, Mother Teresa set up her order in the slums of
Calcutta in 1950 and made her headquarters in here for nearly half a century.
Her small figure with a white and blue sari and sandals became familiar around
the world. She was known to buttonhole politicians and executives and not let
go until they promised to help the poor.
While beatification for Mother Teresa is expected, it will not be certain until
the Vatican formally completes the process. Members of the congregation that
investigates the lives of candidates for sainthood will continue to probe her
writings and sayings and interview people who worked with her and knew her.
www.manoramonline.com (English edition 02nd Oct 2002)