| Pope John Paul II blesses Sister Nirmala during a ceremony at the Vatican’s apostolic palace on Friday. (Reuters)
Calcutta, Dec. 20: Mother Teresa will be beatified next October on a Sunday that is, significantly, closest to the 25th anniversary of Pope John Paul’s pontificate.
Hours after the Pope “approved” in Vatican City — the final step to the Albania-born nun’s beatification — the “miraculous cure” of a 30-year-old woman from Danogram in Bengal’s North Dinajpur district, the Missionaries of Charity office here said it was “thankful” for the recognition.
Mother Teresa, who will get the title of “The Blessed” after the beatification on October 19 next year, will be the first missionary to be beatified for her work in India. Her ascension to this level puts Calcutta firmly — and formally — on the Christian pilgrim’s map.
Her beatification has acquired added significance in being the quickest for any missionary anywhere in the world. She will become a saint, to be called St Teresa of Calcutta, once a second miracle is attributed to her after the beatification.
Today’s ceremony, presided over by the Pope, started in the morning, church officials said. As Father Brian, postulator for the beatification process, had told The Telegraph over phone from the Vatican, the atmosphere was one of “joyful expectation” and “serenity”.
“Her slender figure was a world emblem of Christian charity last century,” the Vatican said. “Through her example, she inspired a vast movement of charitable and social work on behalf of the most marginalised.”
Sister Nirmala, who succeeded Mother Teresa as the superior-general of the order, is now in the Vatican. Missionaries of Charity spokespersons said she considered herself “extremely fortunate and grateful” to have been there in person to share in possibly the church’s greatest moment of glory in India.
The approval of the beatification of Mother Teresa, who died in 1997, comes after over three years of investigation.
by church officials.
led by Father Brian into the circumstances of the healing of Danogram’s Monica Bersa’s tumour.