Kolkata (AsiaNews) - The sisters of Mother Teresa hardly ever speak to reporters. But this time they have made an exception following the news that their mother - as they call her - will be canonized. "We are grateful and happy," says Sister Christie, who lives in the Mother House in Calcutta, where the remains of Mother Teresa rest, visited daily by hundreds of people of all religions to pray, ask for her intercession and miracles.
The Archbishop Emeritus of Calcutta, Msgr. Henry D'Souza, who launched her cause of beatification, expressed his joy to AsiaNews: " I am overjoyed, that Mother Teresa’s second miracle has been approved by the Holy Father. Mother Teresa always told me, that she is my mother, and mother continues her maternal protection over me and the entire humanity even now".
The news of the upcoming canonization was reported late last night by the Italian Catholic newspaper "Avvenire", reporting Pope Francis’ approval of a miracle on 9 December 2008 of a Brazilian engineer, now 42-year old, plagued by viral brain infection with abcesses and with triventricular hydrocephalus, healed just as he entered the operating room before undergoing a surgery considered hopeless by doctors.
While the patient was waiting in the operating room, his wife, a priest and some relatives were in the parish church to pray to Mother Teresa.
Mother Teresa (nee Agnes Bojaxhiu) was born in Skopje (Macedonia today) to Albanian parents. As a young woman she immediately felt the call to religious vocation. She became a nun of the Congregation of Loreto and was sent to India. After several years working as a teacher, on September 10, 1946, she came into direct contact with extreme poverty and violence, on her way to a retreat in Darjeeling, and felt "the call within a call" of Jesus asking her to be his instrument to bring his love to the most remote places and "into the gutters" of the poor and the abandoned.
In 1950 she founded the Congregation of the Missionaries of Charity, who take care of the "poorest of the poor": abandoned children, the handicapped, lepers, the dying, single mothers, people with AIDS, ...
For his charitable work, Mother Teresa has become one of the most famous people in the world and has received the greatest honors in India, in addition to receiving the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1979.
She died on September 4, 1997. A state funeral was held in India, followed by millions of people in Calcutta and hundreds of millions through television broadcasts.
Mother Teresa was beatified by John Paul II on 19 October 2003, exactly five years after her death, with a very fast beatification process. During the ceremony the Polish pope called her "the icon of mission in the twenty-first century".
Her canonization in the Holy Year of Mercy, now makes her an "icon" of the works of mercy, which Pope Francis has asked Christians to practice during this Jubilee.