Foot Steps of Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa appears fast-tracked for sainthood after an announcement Friday that Pope John Paul II has approved a miracle attributed to the late nun's intercession.
A Vatican committee approved the miracle earlier this fall, and the Pope formally seconded the finding during a ceremony at the Apostolic Palace Friday.
The reported miracle involves a young Indian woman, Monica Besra, who recovered from a stomach tumour after an image of Mother Teresa was placed on the woman's stomach. Doctors consulted by the Vatican judged that the woman's recovery was "without any medical explanation."
Sisters of the Order of Mother Teresa approach St. Peters at the Vatican (AP Photo)
The miracle is a prerequisite for beatification, the penultimate step before canonization, or sainthood. The beatification ceremony is expected to be held next spring.
A second miracle must be verified before Mother Teresa can be elevated to sainthood. John Paul waived the customary five-year waiting period for the process that would have her beatified, then made a saint.
One of those who testified in the beatification process was British journalist Christopher Hitchens, author of The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa In Theory and Practice. Hitchens accused Mother Teresa of supporting the wealthy and powerful while preaching resignation to the poor.