Pope Francis has recognized a second miracle attributed to the heavenly intercession of Mother Teresa – the Catholic nun and humanitarian who became known worldwide for her acts of charity and pithy entreaties to powerful people. The path towards the declaration of sainthood by the Catholic Church is now cleared. A ceremony recognizing her saintlieness is expected in 2017.
The second miracle involved a 35-year-old Brazilian man who suffered from several brain tumors, according to the Avvenire newspaper of the Italian bishops’ conference. The Brazilian was near death in 2008 but made an unexplained recovery after his wife and relatives prayed for help from Mother Teresa, who died in 1997.
Known as the Saint of the Gutter because of her work with the poorest of the poor in India, Mother Teresa established an order of nuns that has spread to other continents where they work with people suffering with AIDS, and the very poor. She once won the Nobel Peace Prize. In the early 1990s, when she was introduced by Vice President Al Gore at an annual White House Prayer Breakfast, she pointedly told Gore – a supporter of abortion rights – that if he knows of child that is unwanted to please give that child to her.
The first step towards Mother Teresa’s canonization was her beatification by Pope John Paul II in 2003. While beatification requires evidence of one miracle, canonization (which means that a day is set aside in the Catholic calendar to commemorate the saint) requires another miracle. Avvenire says that her canonization is expected in September 2017.
She was born Agnes Gonxhe Bojaxhiu in Skopje, Macedonia, in 1910. In India, she founded the Missionaries of Charity in 1949 and dedicated the rest of her life to the care of impoverished and sick people.
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