by Stephanie Madzey
Since Mother Teresa’s Beatification in 2003, the Vatican has received numerous messages about potential miracles in which she may have interceded. The newest and most promising case thus far
happened in 2008. A man from Santos, Brazil—whose identity has not yet been divulged due to the fact that the investigation looking into whether this was a miracle has not yet been completed—was
cured of eight brain abscesses inexplicably.
The man was just recently married when the doctors informed him him he had eight abscesses in his brain and that his ailment would require a complicated operation. The family was devastated, even
more so since the person in question had recently married and was taking the first steps in starting a family. Father Elmiram Ferriera, who was aiding and praying for their family at the time,
suggested that they should ask for Mother Teresa’s intercession in their time of need. The priest remembered the way Mother Teresa approached the suffering throughout her life and was hopeful
that she could help this family through their pain. The intercession they sought from her became the peace and strength that helped them through all of the trials. When he was miraculously cured
of his disease, Father Ferriera believed it had to be because of Mother Teresa.
Normally, sainthood isn’t considered for the deceased until at least five years after their death, but for Mother Teresa, who died in 1997, Pope John Paul II made an exception. There was urgency by him to beatify her, and there is a push by Pope Francis today to canonize her. Pope Francis has made it known that he wants to canonize her during the Year of Mercy, which starts December 8 of this year.
Before any further moves in Mother Teresa’s case are made, however, this case will be reviewed and analyzed by a team of doctors to examine whether what happened was, in fact, inexplicable and then will go before a theological council, and finally will await approval by the pope.
There is speculation that she will be canonized on September 4, 2016, which is the Jubilee for Workers and Volunteers of Mercy. The Vatican, which is still looking into the case, hasn’t and won’t officially set a date yet. Father Federico Lombardi, Director of the Holy See Press Office, would confirm only that the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints is aware—which began in May—and is studying Mother Teresa’s cause. There might not be an official canonization date in writing, but the future looks bright for Pope Francis—who has suggested that he would love to be able to canonize Mother Teresa—most likely, he will have a chance to do so fairly soon if this investigation is fruitful. As was evident throughout all of her life, “Intense love does not measure, it just gives.” It is quite reasonable for us to expect her to apply the same measure after her death.
Mother Teresa was born in Macedonia in 1910 as Agnes Bojaxhiu. When she was 8, her father passed away. Following this, Agnes’ house was often filled with the needy, who were invited to share meals with the family. After her First Profession of Vows in 1931, Mother Teresa was assigned a teaching a position at St. Mary’s School for Girls in Calcutta. She remained there until 1946 when God sent her a new calling: a new vocation. While sitting on a train, God spoke to her and told her to leave teaching behind and begin working in the slums of Calcutta. This initiative, which saw the foundation of the Missionaries of Charity, did great things for the poor and marginalized in Calcutta and even more broadly in India and the world. Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for her work with the poor and marginalized and for the humanitarian aid that the Missionaries of Charity provided to millions in need in Africa and South America. By the 1990’s there were over a million Missionaries of Charity in more than 40 countries.