Bl. Mother Teresa to Be Canonized After Pope Approves Miracle, Say Reports

(photo: CNA)

Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta looks set to be canonized in 2016 after Pope Francis reportedly signed a decree this evening recognizing a miracle attributed to her intercession.

The news was reported by Avvenire, the official newspaper of the Italian bishops’ conference, on Thursday evening, the day of the Pope’s 79th birthday.

A columnist for the newspaper, Stefania Falasca, known to be close to Pope Francis’ inner circle, reported that the second miracle required for canonization involved the inexplicable healing of a Brazilian man in 2008 who was suffering from a deadly brain disease and had had a kidney transplant.

Family members prayed to Mother Teresa for the recovery of the man, an engineer now aged 42, leaving doctors at a loss to explain how, the newspaper said. The unidentified man had just got married when he was diagnosed with eight brain abscesses. Already in a coma, he had entered the operating room but due to technical problems the surgery was postponed for half an hour.

When the doctor came back, he found the patient sitting up, wide awake, and asking, "What am I doing here?". The doctor was stunned, saying he had “never seen a case like this". He then examined him only to discover that he was without any sign of his major health problems.  At that very hour, the man’s wife and other people including a priest had been praying to Mother Teresa in the hospital chapel.  

A Vatican spokesman said he had no information about the report, according to Reuters, but Falasca predicts the canonization will take place “in all likelihood” on September 4, during the Holy Year of Mercy.

Falasca reported that on Dec. 15 a commission of bishops and cardinals of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints gave a “unanimously positive verdict” on the miracle, supporting an equally unanimous declaration Sept. 10 by the Congregation’s medical board that the man’s healing could not be scientifically explained.

Bl. Mother Teresa was born Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu of Albanian parents in Macedonia in 1910 in what was then part of the Ottoman Empire.

She founded the Missionaries of Charity to help the poor on the streets of Calcutta and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. Pope St. John Paul II beatified her in 2003.

The Vatican is likely to make an official announcement in the coming days at a public consistory when Francis will authorize the publication of the decree recognizing the miracle.