Mother Teresa to become saint on September 4, Sisters of Charity excited

Francis made the announcement at a meeting of cardinals to give the final approval to several sainthood causes.

Written by Premankur Biswas | Kolkata | Updated: March 16, 2016 2:36 pm
Mother teresa, Mother teresa sainthood, Pope Francis, Catholic Church, Pope Mother teresa, Mother teresa birthday, Mother Teresa canonised File photo of Mother Teresa (Express Archive)

Mother Teresa will be made a saint on September 4, Pope Francis announced on Tuesday — 19 years after the death of the Nobel Laureate who spent 45 years serving the poor and sick on the streets of Kolkata.

“Pope Francis today approved Mother Teresa’s elevation to sainthood and set September 4 as the date for her canonisation,” said a message from the Vatican to the Mother House — the headquarters of the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata. Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity and spent 45 years serving the poor, the sick, the orphaned, and the dying on the streets of Kolkata. She died at the age of 87 here in 1997.

Also read Mother Teresa’s elevation to sainthood thrills Mother’s House, thanksgiving mass being planned

The announcement was received at the Mother House with immense joy. “We have received an official confirmation from Vatican that Pope Franscis has approved Mother’s sainthood and set September 4 as the date for her canonisation. We are very excited and happy,” Missionaries of Charity Spokesperson Sunita Kumar said.

A sister associated with Missionaries of Charity said, “We arranged a special afternoon prayer to celebrate the occasion. We were expecting this announcement ever since the second miracle was recognised by the pope in December.” In keeping with the tradition of the organisation, the afternoon prayer meeting was a sombre and quiet affair. “The only joy we get it is through prayers. That’s our celebration,” she said.

According to the norms, the Catholic Church requires one “medical” miracle before a deceased Catholic can be declared “blessed,” and another such miracle, occurring after that declaration, before he or she can be canonized as a saint.

Teresa, who will now be a Saint of the Roman Catholic Church, was beatified by then pope John Paul II in a fast-tracked process in 2003 — the first step towards sainthood\. In 2002, the Vatican officially recognised the first miracle she was said to have carried out after her death, namely the 1998 healing of a tribal woman Monika Besra in South Dinajpore district of West Bengal, who was suffering from an abdominal tumour. Besra had said that after the application of a locket with Mother Teresa’s picture, she saw a beam of light emanating from it which, she claimed, cured her tumour. However, the doctors at Balurghat hospital where she was treated, had dismissed claims of a miracle and said their medicine had cured the woman’s tumour.

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On December 20, 2015, Pope Francis recognised a second miracle attributed to the Mother in Brazil, where, according to a write-up handed out by the Missionaries of Charity, a man with an incurable bacterial brain infection was cured on December 9, 2008 after his wife prayed to Mother Teresa in a parish church. He was supposed to undergo an emergency operation, but the moment the neurosurgeon entered the operating room, he found the patienct inexplicably awake and without pain. Both these episodes cleared the way for the Roman Catholic nun to be declared a saint this year.

Meanwhile, at Missionaries of Charity, several well-wishers and volunteers poured in to celebrate the Pope’s announcement. Nuns said the canonisation in Rome will have a special universal significance because of the Mother’s popularity. Sister Prema and Archbishop Thomas D’Souza will go to Rome to attend the canonisation.

Archbishop D’Souza said that the canonisation is a formality but an important one. “This is the last step that the Pope needs the cardinal and sign the decree,” D’Souza said. He added that they were planning a big celebration in Kolkata in September to mark the occasion where delegates from different parts of the country will participate.The MOC and other Christian associations in Kolkata are also planning a big thanksgiving Holy Mass on October 2 at the Netaji Indoor Stadium here, apart from a civil programme where dignitaries will be present.Over the years, the city has developed a love-hate relationship with the Missionaries of Charity, even though the order and Mother Teresa have garnered worldwide acclaim and appreciation. Last week, a blog by a former volunteer at the Missionaries of Charity (Kolkata), S Bedford, criticised the organisation for the way it lets the downtrodden suffer pain in order to gain salvation. In February last year, RSS head Mohan Bhagwat sparked outrage when he said Mother Teresa’s motive was to convert people to Christianity. In 2015, the Missionaries of Charity said it was forced to close its adoption centres because India’s new adoption laws, allowing single, divorced and separated couples to adopt, went against its religious views.

with PTI inputs

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  1. A
    ak dev
    Mar 15, 2016 at 2:52 pm
    Mother Teresa's service were not selfless but aimed at converting people to Christianity. Calling mother Terasa as saint is demeaning the word of saint.
    Reply
    1. A
      Archpagan
      Mar 16, 2016 at 8:13 am
      The myth of St. Thomas is not recognized by the Vatican. You should re-model your thinking.
      Reply
      1. A
        Archpagan
        Mar 16, 2016 at 8:18 am
        Do you say the same thing about missionary run schools?
        Reply
        1. C
          Cam Ron
          Mar 15, 2016 at 8:09 pm
          I challenge anyone here to google "mother teresa is a bad person". She did more to harm the poor and sick than anyone else. Her sainthood is a disgrace based on a fabricated lie the church wants you to believe.
          Reply
          1. R
            Ramkumar Chauhan
            Mar 16, 2016 at 1:39 am
            Danny! Absolutely untrue. If you are poor the bills gets reviewed. There is no even a hint to convert! What is your source? Some friend's friend's cousin's relative? Please check your fact. BTW, I have been to this hospital down South.
            Reply
            1. I
              Indian
              Mar 15, 2016 at 12:59 pm
              And what about Bhagwat?
              Reply
              1. S
                stranger
                Mar 16, 2016 at 2:02 am
                aren't ms teressas miracle violation of maharashtra anti black magic act. any rationalist takers there. a saint presenting a chain to the maha first lady is considered a horrible act of black magic. any way how would a charity run by Islamic state caliph be seen, would it receive a noble prize if it only "prays" for 15million kolkata desutes. to your record each of ms teressas famous patrons like marcos, pinnochet to name few has killed more people than isis managed till date.
                Reply
                1. J
                  Jeslin Patricya
                  Mar 16, 2016 at 9:07 am
                  Example of a blind RSS, who never knew Jesus.
                  Reply
                  1. J
                    Jeslin Patricya
                    Mar 16, 2016 at 9:44 am
                    KIND REQUEST TO RSS BLIND BHAKTS: STOP SPREADING HATE. WE MINORITIES ARE ALSO INDIANS.
                    Reply
                    1. J
                      Jeslin Patricya
                      Mar 16, 2016 at 9:10 am
                      There is nothing wrong helping poor. Why to use such an abusive language for this!
                      Reply
                      1. J
                        Jeslin Patricya
                        Mar 16, 2016 at 10:01 am
                        Why famous people, rich and Brahmins convert to Christianity, don't they have bread to eat or money to live!
                        Reply
                        1. J
                          Jeslin Patricya
                          Mar 16, 2016 at 9:34 am
                          and will never know Christians because he has hatred in his heart which makes him blind to see true things.
                          Reply
                          1. B
                            BharatK
                            Mar 16, 2016 at 10:07 am
                            I have nothing against a person called Christ, whether existed or not, but the criminals who use his name to destroy others culture and heritage. Thus MK hi said, you christrians are unlike of Christ. Madam Teresa was a christian missionary of Vatican, she did her job as a loyal servent, to harvest souls by destorying others. She stamped Bengal as a land of poor, desute, beggers, and all bad things to garner money from west, to her devoted job to harvest souls for Vatican. In Bharat, we shall not allow soul-harvesting business by destorying others culture and ways of life.
                            Reply
                            1. B
                              BharatK
                              Mar 16, 2016 at 8:52 am
                              Made in Vatican soul-harvesting factories. Criteria to made a saint: 1) number of soul-harvests, 2) number of bribes to lure poor, 3) number of cheatings, 4) number of deceptions, 5) number of fraudism, and list goes on. Sants Become, Not Made in factories like Vatican.
                              Reply
                              1. R
                                Ramakrishnan
                                Mar 16, 2016 at 9:51 am
                                Even when it is a fact that Christianity was established in India even before Europe, the visit by St. Thomas at best appears to be a legend with little historical evidence. What is fact is that until the 16th century, the Kerala Christians were independent and did not come under the tutelage of Pope or any other foreign Archbishop. Until then their dress code was not different from those of other Keralites and their places of worship were like Hindu temples as the same carpenters designed them. Even now oldest churches like the Palayur church resembles temple. It was only in 16th century the Portugese called the Udayamperur Synod and insisted all the Kerala Christians come under Pope. While most of the 120 churches in those days did not agree, the Portugese got orders issued by the then Kings to compe them. Even then 40 churches remained independent which is the present Marthoma Church. It was in the Udyamperur synod decesion was taken that Christian men and women should dress differently and their churches should be built according to Gothic architecture. When the Dutch came the Christians complained about the high handedness of the Portugese and they made arrangement for some of them to come under the Archbishop of Antioch who are now called the Jacobite Church. Few people further broke away from Jacobite Church to form independent church called Orthodox church. I am writing all this to point out the colonial interference in the affairs of which was essentially a native phenomenon.
                                Reply
                                1. R
                                  Ramakrishnan
                                  Mar 16, 2016 at 3:24 am
                                  Some Christian bigot spotted.
                                  Reply
                                  1. R
                                    Ramakrishnan
                                    Mar 16, 2016 at 3:22 am
                                    The Pope should have some arms length approach for essing the so called miracles. At present the process appears to lack any transparency.
                                    Reply
                                    1. R
                                      Ramakrishnan
                                      Mar 16, 2016 at 3:27 am
                                      When the British came here India along with China were the richest economies. They looted us to poverty. Now they want us to be thankful to them for the small crumbs thrown at us in charity.
                                      Reply
                                      1. R
                                        Ramakrishnan
                                        Mar 16, 2016 at 3:28 am
                                        You shameless may roaming naked. That is why you are jealous of those wearing Chaddi.
                                        Reply
                                        1. m
                                          michelle_vedic_human
                                          Mar 15, 2016 at 12:22 pm
                                          VETICAN INVADERS first invaded HINDUSTAN and LOOTED,--MURDERED,-MACARED,-- SLAUGHTERED,--KIDNAPPED,--RAPED,---KILLED,--BUTCHERED,--RANSACKED,--TORTURED,--BURNT,----THRASHED,--HIJACKED,---HANGED,---CONVERTED,--DIVIDED,--then left,---they were invaders who called themselves crusaders,----later to patch things up and make them selves look good,---they sent their MISSIONARIES to preach heaven and sent by son of God who couldn't save his own self when getting nailed by his cruel people,--now they saying they were saints,--SINNERS is what best they should be described as and not saints.
                                          Reply
                                          1. M
                                            mtv
                                            Mar 15, 2016 at 4:18 pm
                                            Did you ever think why she should convert at all? That too forcefully. What personnel benefit she gets?
                                            Reply
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