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Pope Francis to Sign Decree for Canonization of Mother Teresa


Mother Teresa

Pope Francis is set to announce the date and venue for Mother Teresa’s canonization on March 15.

According to a report published on the official Vatican Network’s website, the pope will hold an “ordinary consistory of cardinals” — a meeting of the College of Cardinals — on that date. He will sign the decree for Mother Teresa’s canonization along with four others.

Mother Teresa, sometimes referred to as the “saint of the gutter,” founded the Missionaries of Charity in 1950 in India, where she served as a nun.

Members of the Missionaries of Charity care for the sick and the mentally ill. They also run a school for street children and a hospice for AIDS patients.

Mother Teresa, born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu‎, was given the title of Blessed by Pope St. John Paul II in 2003 and was cleared for sainthood by Pope Francis in 2015, after recognizing that a Brazilian man suffering from multiple brain abscesses was healed through her intercession.

She died on September 5, 1997 and was given a state funeral by the Indian government.

The process of beatification can only begin five years after a person’s death, according to ewtn.com. However, it can be waived by the pope. The mandatory five years was waived in the case of Pope St. John Paul II and Mother Teresa.

The case of a person’s sainthood is started when a bishop from the diocese from which she or he died submits a petition to the Holy See.

From there, testimonies are gathered to establish whether a person has the right virtues for sainthood. Once the virtues have been determined, a person is given the title of Venerable.

This is when the process of collecting evidence of a miracle begins. Ewtn said,

“Those who propose a miracle do so in the diocese where it is alleged to have occurred, not in the diocese of the Cause, unless the same. The diocese of the candidate miracle then conducts its own tribunals, scientific and theological.”

It added that often the miracles put forth are medical in nature.

It must be proven that there was “no natural explanation” for the miracle and it must be “well-documented.”

Once the pope approves of the miracle, a candidate for sainthood is then beatified and received the title, Blessed, and this is when a second miracle is needed before proceeding with canonization.