Mother Teresa’s followers in dark over Alphonsa sainthood

March 3rd, 2008 - 4:56 pm ICT by admin  

Kolkata, March 3 (IANS) The Missionaries of Charity (MoC), the order of nuns founded by Nobel laureate Mother Teresa, is eagerly waiting a second miracle for her sainthood. But they are in the dark about the Vatican’s confirmation of the canonisation of Kerala nun Sister Alphonsa Oct 12. “We learnt about the news from some journalists who called us for our views. But we have not got anything officially. We ourselves are waiting for a second miracle for the canonisation of Mother Teresa,” Sister Christie of the MoC told IANS.

After a 55-year-long process, Sister Alphonsa will be canonised at the Vatican Oct 12, said Father Paul Thellekat, official spokesperson of the Syro Malabar Catholic Church, Kerala. She would be the first native Indian to be made a saint.

In Kolkata, however, Mother Teresa’s huge following await the canonisation of Mother Teresa and a second miracle that must precede the canonisation.

Pope John Paul II beatified Mother Teresa on Oct 19, 2003 at St. Peter’s square in Rome.

In Catholicism, beatification is a recognition accorded by the church to a dead person’s accession to heaven. It is the second step in the process of declaration of sainthood.

The sainthood of Mother Teresa has been delayed by the absence of a second miracle but Sister Nirmala, the head of the MoC, said god “will choose his own time” for the pious event.

“In the heart of people, Mother has always been a saint but the official sainthood is one miracle away and so far no miracle has been reported. But we are not worried since god will decide when it should come,” Sister Nirmala, the head of MoC, told IANS in a previous interview.

The MoC will complete 11 years without the physical presence of Mother Teresa this September. The order’s 4,823 sisters worldwide, clad in their blue-bordered white saris, remain deeply committed to serving the poor.

“One more miracle has to happen for the official confirmation of Mother’s sainthood. It should be a medical miracle that defies human explanation,” said Sister Nirmala, 73.

The miracle that put on fast track the process of Mother Teresa’s sainthood was reported in a village in South Dinajpur district of West Bengal. Tribal woman Monica Besra’s testimony of a miraculous cure from an abdominal tumour through Mother Teresa’s intercession paved the way for the nun’s beatification.

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