Mother Teresa Miraculously Healed Man With Brain Tumors, Vatican Announces

Catholic nuns from the order of the Missionaries of Charity gather under a picture of Mother Teresa during the tenth anniversary of her death in Kolkata, India, in this September 5, 2007 file photo. | (Photo: Reuters/Jayanta Shaw/Files)

Pope Francis has officially recognized a second miracle attributed to Mother Teresa, with the Vatican announcing she is to be made a saint in 2016.

"The Holy Father has authorized the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to proclaim the decree concerning the miracle attributed to the intercession of blessed Mother Teresa," the Roman Catholic Church announced on Friday.

BBC News
 noted that Teresa, who died in 1997, was beatified in 2003, but needed a second miracle attributed to her name before she could be declared a saint of the Catholic church.

Francis has now affirmed that a second miracle has indeed been credited to the popular nun, with the unexplained healing of a Brazilian man with brain tumors in 2008.

Teresa was the foundress of the Congregation of the Missionaries of Charity and the Missionaries of Charity, and has been recognized for her devotion serving the poor in the Indian city of Calcutta.

She won the Nobel Peace Prize for her work in 1979, and is recognized as a global Catholic icon. Born in present-day Macedonia in 1910, she came from a Catholic family of Albanians, and became know as the "saint of the gutter" for her work with India's poor and sick.

"Obviously all of us at the Missionaries of Charity are extremely happy. But we do not have any plans to celebrate this announcement as yet," Sister Christie, a spokesperson for the Missionaries of Charity Mother Teresa, told BBC.

The Mother House in central Calcutta oversees 4,500 nuns worldwide, and runs 19 homes for women, orphans, and the elderly in the Indian city alone.

"There is so much suffering, so much hatred, so much misery, and we with our prayer, with our sacrifice are beginning at home," Teresa said in her Nobel Peace Prize lecture. "Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the action that we do."

Teresa's previous attributed miracle in 2003 was linked to an Indian woman who prayed to the nun, after which her incurable tumor suddenly disappeared, The New York Times reported. Pope John Paul II accepted the first miracle.

Teresa's legacy has been scrutinized by some critics, such as British atheist journalist Christopher Hitchens. In his 1995 book The Missionary Positions, Hitchens alleged that Teresa purposefully allowed patients to suffer, and did not offer them higher-quality medical care. The Vatican has continuously dismissed the accusations, however.

Francis has canonized more than two dozen saints during his time as pontiff, including two previous popes in John XXIII and John Paul II.

Back in October, Francis canonized the first ever married couple into the Catholic church. The husband and wife, Louis and Marie-Zelie Guerin Martin, who lived in 19th century France, had five daughters who all became nuns, including one who also became a saint.

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