Next September will likely see Mother Teresa proclaimed a saint. A possible date for the celebration of her canonisation is Monday 5 September, which will mark the 106th anniversary of Mother Teresa’s birth and has been celebrated as the feast day of the Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta. The actual canonisation will likely take place a day earlier, on Sunday 4 September.
Born Anjëzë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu to Albanian parents in Skopje (then part of the Ottoman Empire), Mother Teresa became a symbol of love for the poor, living amongst them in the streets of Calcutta. She was beatified on 19 October 2003 in Saint Peter’s Square, Vatican City by Pope John Paul II.
The miracle which could lead to Mother Teresa being raised to the altars is the scientifically inexplicable healing of a Brazilian man who was afflicted with a malignant brain tumour in the final stages. The Catholic man from the Diocese of Santos in Brazil experienced a full recovery after praying intensely to Mother Teresa. The cancer, which had spread extensively in the patient’s brain, suddenly and unexpectedly disappeared from his CT scans.
Some further steps still need to be taken before the canonisation can become official.
The miracle, which is attributed to Mother Teresa’s intercession, will be examined by cardinals and bishops from the Congregation of the Causes of Saints next month. Although cardinals do not carry out an examination as such – this is done by the dicastery’s medical council, which has already submitted its approval –, they could ask for further evidence, which may prolong the whole process.
Once the Congregation’s Bishops and Cardinals have deliberated, the Prefect presents the decision to the Pope, who approves the miracle and announces the date of the canonisation ceremony at the Consistory of Cardinals.
During his trip to Tirana in September 2014, Pope Francis described his encounter with Mother Teresa of Calcutta at the 1994 Synod. Remembering the circumstances of his meeting, the Pope said:
“She sat right behind me during the sessions. I admired her strength, the determinedness with which she spoke, never letting herself be fazed by the assembly of bishops. She said what she wanted to say…”