Mother Teresa to be declared saint next year

Rome: Mother Teresa will be canonised as saint of the Roman Catholic Church next year, the Vatican and the Missionaries of Charity announced on Friday, a day after Pope Francis recognised a second miracle attributed to the Nobel laureate.

“The Holy Father has authorised the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to proclaim the decree concerning the miracle attributed to the intercession of blessed Mother Teresa,” BBC quoted the Vatican as saying.

“Today (Friday) we received an official confirmation from the Vatican about the second miracle being recognised by the Pope … and Mother will be accorded sainthood in 2016,” said Sunita Kumar, spokesperson of Missionaries of Charity which was founded by Mother Teresa.

“Going by media reports, the second miracle relates to a person in Brazil getting healed as a result of Mother’s prayers. The first case of miracle was in Kolkata,” added Sunita Kumar.

The second miracle — mandatory for her canonisation — related to the curing of a Brazilian man with a brain illness.

Mother Teresa is likely to be canonised in September next year to coincide with the 19th anniversary of her death and Pope Francis’s Holy Year of Mercy, AKI quoted Italian Catholic daily Avennire’s report as saying.

Mother Teresa died on September 5, 1997, aged 87 and was beatified — the first step towards sainthood — in 2003 after Pope John Paul II accepted as authentic a miracle attributed to her.

He judged that the curing of an Indian woman suffering from an abdominal tumour was the result of the supernatural intervention of the late Mother Teresa.

Born Agnes Gonxhe Bojaxhiu in Skopje, Macedonia, in 1910, she commenced serving the poor with the Sisters of Loreto in 1928 and arrived in India in 1929. After working with the Sisters of Loreto till 1948, she founded the Missionaries of Charity in 1949.

She dedicated her life to caring for the impoverished and sick people in Kolkata (then Calcutta) and this earned her a Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.

Expressing happiness over the development, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said Mother’s sainthood was a great honour for the state.

“She dedicated all her life working for the poor, particularly in Kolkata. It’s a great honour for all the people that she is being bestowed with sainthood,” said Banerjee.