Pope approves Mother Teresa miracle

POPE John Paul will approve a miracle attributed to Mother Teresa today, paving the way for the beatification of the Nobel Prize-winning nun, the Missionaries of Charity said.

Beatification, in which a person is declared “blessed,” is a key step toward sainthood, which itself is attained following the Church’s approval of two miracles.

“Today, the decrees to be approved include those concerning Mother Teresa’s heroic virtues and the miracle attributed to her intercession. Today’s ceremony will clear the way for her beatification. A formal beatification ceremony will take place only after that,” the Missionaries of Charity, the order the nun founded in 1950, said in a statement yesterday.

Twice a year, in July and before Christmas, the Pope approves decrees on heroic virtues and miracles attributable to those on the road to sainthood. Church officials say heroic virtues include simplicity, humility and selfless service to the needy.

In October, the Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Saints approved a miracle attributed to the Catholic nun, who died in 1997, aged 87, and later presented its report to the Pope.

The miracle involved a 30-year-old Indian woman, Monica Besra, who was suffering from a stomach tumour and was inexplicably healed after praying to Mother Teresa, also known as the “saint of the gutters.” Mother Teresa’s successor, Sister Nirmala, is in Rome and said she would attend the function at which the Pope approves the decrees. The Pope put Mother Teresa on the fast-track to sainthood in 1999, two years after she died, in response to requests by devotees that the Vatican speed the process of canonising her.

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