Pope approves miracle for Mother Teresa’s canonization
VATICAN CITY - The Associated Press
A Catholic nun from the Missionaries of Charity, the global order of nuns founded by Mother Teresa, holds a pamphlet as she attends a prayer meeting on Mother Teresa's 13th death anniversary in Kolkata, India, in this September 5, 2010 file photo. REUTERS PhotoPope Francis has signed off on the miracle needed to make Mother Teresa a saint, giving the nun who cared for the poorest of the poor one of the Catholic Church’s highest honors just two decades after her death.
The Vatican said Dec. 18 that Francis approved a decree attributing a miracle to Mother Teresa’s intercession during an audience with the head of the Vatican’s saint-making office on Dec. 17, his 79th birthday.
No date was set for the canonization, but Italian media have speculated that the ceremony will take place in the first week of September - to coincide with the anniversary of her death, and during Francis’ Holy Year of Mercy.
“This is fantastic news. We are very happy,” said Sunita Kumar, a spokeswoman for the Missionaries of Charity in the eastern city of Kolkata, where Mother Teresa lived and worked.
Mother Teresa, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, died on Sept. 5, 1997, aged 87. At the time, her Missionaries of Charity order had nearly 4,000 nuns and ran roughly 600 orphanages, soup kitchens, homeless shelters and clinics around the world.
Mother Teresa won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for her work with Calcutta’s destitute and ill - work which continued even after she herself took sick.
“The poor give us much more than we give them,” Mother Teresa said in 1977. “They’re such strong people, living day to day with no food. And they never curse, never complain.”
Francis, whose papacy has been dedicated to ministering to the poor just as Mother Teresa did, is a known fan. During his September 2014 visit to Albania, Francis confided to his interpreter that he was not only impressed by her fortitude, but in some ways feared it.
Francis recounted that he had met Mother Teresa, an ethnic Albanian, when they attended a 1994 bishop synod at the Vatican together. At the time, he was Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio.