Vatican City, Oct. 1 (Reuters): The Vatican today approved a miracle attributed to Mother Teresa, moving the nun one step closer to sainthood.
The move means Mother Teresa will be beatified, or declared a blessed of the church, next year.
The miracle was the subject of a closed-door meeting at the Vatican in which doctors explained it to cardinals, bishops and priests who are members of the saint-making department known as the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
The miracle involved 30-year-old Monica Besra, who was suffering from a stomach tumour and was healed inexplicably after praying to the nun.
At such meetings, doctors tell the members of the congregation that they have no medical explanation for the healing.
Last month, the same department decided that Mother Teresa, who died in 1997, possessed “heroic virtues” of the Christian faith for her services to the poor and her holiness.
“She was a real holy woman. She lived her life according to the Gospel in the most authentic way,” said Cardinal Pio Laghi, who knew the diminutive nun well. “She deserved the preferential, fast track to beatification,” Laghi said.
If the Pope signs the decree approving the miracle, probably in December, a beatification ceremony can be held next year, Vatican sources said. A second miracle attributed to the nun would be needed after the beatification for her to be declared a saint.
Under church rules, five years must pass after a person dies before the procedure for sainthood can begin. But in 1999, Pope John Paul granted a dispensation so the procedure could start less than two years after her death.
As soon as news of the Vatican approving the miracle reached Mother House in Calcutta, the nuns assembled to pray in front of her tomb, adds a staff reporter.
“We read the news on the Vatican website. We hope the canonisation process is completed soon. We are all very happy and praying to the Lord,” Sister Christie said.
The sisters were waiting for Sister Nirmala to return to Mother House from Tangra so that they could pray together. “The process of beatification is being looked after by the postulate office in Rome. We are yet to hear from them. We are nevertheless overjoyed,” said a sister.