KOLKATA • Mother Teresa, the Nobel laureate who dedicated her life to helping the poorest of the poor, could be made a saint of the Roman Catholic Church next year.
Pope Francis has recognised a second miracle attributed to the revered nun, clearing the path for her to be elevated to sainthood, the Vatican said yesterday.
"The Holy Father has authorised the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to proclaim the decree concerning the miracle attributed to the intercession of blessed Mother Teresa," it said in a statement.
Mother Teresa, who died in 1997 at the age of 87, was beatified in a fast-track process in 2003 by the late Pope John Paul II. Beatification, which requires one miracle, is the last step before sainthood.
She can now be canonised because of the inexplicable healing of a Brazilian man who was suffering from a deadly brain disease, according to Catholic media reports. They said family members prayed to Mother Teresa, and he recovered.
Catholic newspaper Avvenire, which has been well informed about similar stories in the past, said the Pope would most likely hold the canonisation ceremony in early September. Large crowds are expected for the ceremony, although it is still not clear if it would take place in Rome or India.
Mother Teresa was born Anjeze Gonxhe Bojaxhiu to Albanian
parents in Macedonia in 1910 in what was then part of the Ottoman Empire.
Nicknamed the "Saint of the Gutters", she dedicated her life to the poor, the sick and the dying in the slums of Kolkata, one of India's biggest cities.
She founded the Missionaries of Charity order of nuns there. She was granted Indian citizenship in 1951, and received a state funeral after her death. Her grave in the order's headquarters in Kolkata has since become a pilgrimage site.
Reacting to her impending canonisation, Ms Sunita Kumar, a missionary spokesman who had worked closely with Mother Teresa, said the late nun was an extraordinary woman who believed hard work was the best way to serve God.
The revered nun, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, was not without her critics, however, with some accusing her of mixing with dictators and peddling a hardline Catholicism.
AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE,REUTERS