Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Mother Teresa and the kidney stone

~from Time

At first glance the elimination of a mineral deposit may seem too insignificant to merit sainthood. Indeed, the criterion of the early Church for sainthood was martyrdom. Even when popes established an alternative requirement of anywhere from two to four posthumous miracles, those have tended to be cures of dire, often life-threatening ailments. They were seldom conditions that the sufferer could have dealt with by other means, but simply didn't.

It was unclear from the CNS report whether Mother Teresa's order, the Missionaries of Charity, had officially submitted the reported cure for investigation by the Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints. A call and e-mail to a Missionaries official went unanswered.

A certain degree of urgency may have come to attend Teresa's miracle count. Normally the process of recognizing a saint takes decades or even centuries. But after Mother Teresa's death, Pope John Paul II waived a traditional five-year waiting period, initiating what some have called a "fast-track" canonization process. The first major step, the establishment of her "heroic virtue," proceeded quickly. However, verifiable reports of posthumous miracles have apparently been scarce. Teresa was beatified after the first one in 2003. But on Sep. 5 Teresa's successor, Sister Nirmala, told Agence France Presse that "We are waiting for a second miracle for sainthood to the Mother." The cure of Fr. Thomas, who had reportedly known Mother Teresa for 18 years before her death, occurred that day.

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