Mother Teresa has officially become a saint. CNN is reporting that Pope Francis held the canonization ceremony at the Vatican on Sunday. Also known as the “saint of the gutters,” Mother Teresa’s ceremony was attended by thousands of pilgrims that held on to every word Pope Francis was speaking during the special ceremony.
“After due deliberation and frequent prayer for divine assistance, and having sought the counsel of many of our brother bishops, we declare and define Blessed Teresa of Calcutta to be a saint, and we enroll her among the saints, decreeing that she is to be venerated as such by the whole church. Mother Teresa, in all aspects of her life, was a generous dispenser of divine mercy, making herself available for everyone through her welcome and defense of human life, those unborn and those abandoned and discarded. She bowed down before those who were spent, left to die on the side of the road, seeing in them their God-given dignity. She made her voice heard before the powers of this world, so that they might recognize their guilt for the crime of poverty they created.”
An estimated 120,000 attend canonization ceremony for Mother Teresa. pic.twitter.com/pvYO904Gwc
— Fox News (@FoxNews) September 4, 2016
The granting of sainthood for Mother Teresa happened much faster than what would normally happen. In many cases, it can take 100 years or more after death for a person to be canonized as a saint in the Catholic Church. At the bare minimum, five years after death is the mandatory waiting period to even consider a person to become a saint. Two years after she died in 1997, the pressure on the Vatican to make her a saint began. Pope John Paul II was the pope at the time, and he waived the five-year waiting period.
In order to become a saint, a miracle must be performed by the person being considered for sainthood. The miracle is investigated and needs to be officially approved by the church. Mother Teresa did not have just one miracle approved for her, but two.
The first miracle attributed to Mother Teresa was for curing a stomach tumor inside of Monica Besra. Besra prayed to Mother Teresa, asking to be cured. In October of 2002, it was determined that there was no scientific explanation that led to Monica’s recovery.
Besra spoke with CNN and commented about her miracle.
“I took doctors’ medicines, threw up and was in a lot of pain. But when I prayed to Mother Teresa from my heart, Mother Teresa blessed me and now I am healthy. My entire village and I am very happy that she is being made a saint.”
The second approved miracle by Mother Teresa occurred in Brazil. The man who was miraculously cured suffered from numerous brain tumors. His family and loved ones began to pray to Mother Teresa, and their prayers were answered when the brain tumors vanished.
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) September 4, 2016
Mother Teresa becoming a saint is not without criticism. According to NBC News, Dr. Aroup Chatterjee of London is one of the people who do not think Mother Teresa deserved to be named a saint by Pope Francis. In his book Mother Terese: The Final Verdict, Chatterjee explains why he feels the way he does.
“I personally think that she did more harm than good. She was very cruel in how she treated people at her home for the dying. I think she preached a very negative, very medieval, obscurantist ideology.”
— Esmeralda Kiczek (@EsmeraldaKiczek) September 2, 2016
What are your thoughts on Mother Teresa becoming a saint?
[Photo by Tsering Topgyal/AP Images]