Mother Teresa, elevated to Sainthood

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Pope Francis has approved sainthood for Mother Teresa, a Roman Catholic religious sister and missionary who was awarded Nobel peace prize in 1979 in recognition of her service toward humanity. She will be made a saint of the Roman Catholic Church at a ceremony on September 4.

Earlier in 2003, Mother Teresa was beatified by then late Pope John Paul. More than 300,000 pilgrims went to Rome in 2003 for Teresa’s beatification – the first step towards sainthood. The path to sainthood requires at least two miracles. The two miracle are :-

♦ First miracle : The  first miracle was recorded in 1998, when an Indian woman Monica Besra was reportedly cured of an abdominal tumour after nuns prayed for her, and placed a Mother Teresa medallion on her stomach.

♦ Second Miracle : The second miracle involved a 35-year-old Brazilian man who had not long been married when he was diagnosed with eight brain tumours in 2008. On 9 December, he was taken to the operating room in an induced coma, but doctors were forced to delay the medical procedure by half an hour because of technical problems. While they waited, the man's wife led prayers to Mother Teresa in the hospital's chapel. When the surgeon returned to the operating room, he is said to have found the patient awake, sitting up and asking "what am I doing here?".

About Mother Teresa

♦ Mother Teresa was born as Anjeze Gonxhe Bojaxhiu on 26 August 1910 in Skopje, Macedonia, then part of the Kosovo Vilayet in the Ottoman Empire. She joined the Loreto order of nuns in 1928. In 1946, while travelling by train from Kolkata to Darjeeling, she was inspired to found the Missionaries of Charity order.

♦ She founded the Missionaries of Charity, which in 2012 consisted of over 4,500 sisters and was active in 133 countries.Through the charity organisation, she had spent around 45-years serving the poor, sick, orphaned and dying on the streets of Kolkata.

♦ Members of the Missionaries must adhere to the vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience, as well as a fourth vow, to give "wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor".

Awards and Honours : Ramon Magsaysay Award (1962), Padma Shri (1962), Nobel Peace Prize (1979), Bharat Ratna (1980).

Canonization of Mother Teresa  

The Canonization ceremony of Mother Teresa  is expected to take place in Rome with a thanksgiving ceremony to be held at a later date in the Indian city where Teresa is buried.

Canonization : Canonization is the act by which Roman Catholic or Anglican Church declares that a person who has died was a saint, upon which declaration the person is included in the canon, or list, of recognized saints.

Currently there are different processes used by the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church for the canonisation process. Originally,  individuals were recognised as saints without any formal process. Presently there are four steps of canonisation of the Roman Catholic Church. 

  • Servant of God followed  
  • Venerable 
  • Blessed.
  • Sainthood 
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