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Vatican huddle on Mother Teresa

Vatican City, Sept. 24 (AFP): Mother Teresa, whose charitable work drew admiration from millions worldwide, may move a step closer to sainthood after a Vatican meeting here today.

Supporters of the founder of the Missionaries of Charity – born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in 1910 in Skopje, now in Macedonia, to Albanian parents – hope she will be sainted by the end of the year.

The church’s congregation for the causes of saints will pronounce its verdict on Mother Teresa’s “heroic virtues” today. This is the first step towards beatification, which precedes sainthood.

A week later, on October 1, the congregation’s cardinals and bishops will meet again to recognise the miracle attributed to Mother Teresa – the healing of a woman’s abdominal tumour.

Pope John Paul II, upon return on September 30 from a three-month stay at his summer residence in Castelgandolfo, outside Rome, may attend the second meeting.

The presence of the pontiff, a great admirer of Mother Teresa’s charitable order, could speed things up with possible announcements of decrees validating the nun’s “heroic acts,” or her miracle, or both.

Mother Teresa, the most famous nun in history, set up her order in Calcutta in 1950 and lived there till her death in September 1997. Her service to the poor and dying became emblematic of a life of Christian service, earning her global recognition as well as a Nobel Peace Prize.

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