Mother Teresa will become Saint Teresa on September 4, 2016.
Pope Francis gave his approval for the canonization of Mother Teresa, along with four other saints, at a public Consistory held on Tuesday.
Mother Teresa is recognized for her work for the “poorest for the poor.” The several missionaries that she headed and members of the religious order founded by her will be at the canonization in Rome.
While her humanitarian work has been widely acknowledged and acclaimed, a paper, first reported by the Huffington Post, by Serge Larivée and Genevieve Chenard of University of Montreal’s Department of Psychoeducation and Carole Sénéchal of the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Education emphasizes that Mother Teresa’s beatification was planned by a media relations campaign, according to the .
Larivee, who headed the research, said, “While looking for documentation on the phenomenon of altruism for a seminar on ethics, one of us stumbled upon the life and work of one of Catholic Church’s most celebrated woman and now part of our collective imagination—Mother Teresa—whose real name was Agnes Gonxha. The description was so ecstatic that it piqued our curiosity and pushed us to research further.”
The “miracle” cure of Monica Besra, a woman suffering from acute abdominal pain, has been widely debated. Besra was suffering from stomach tumour and her husband could not afford any more medical treatment. Two nuns tied an oval medallion bearing a picture of Mother Teresa on Besra’s stomach. According to a 2003 report from The Telegraph, her recovery, which was subsequently hailed as a miracle, has led some doctors to say that the tumour had fully developed; and that the ovarian cyst she suffered from was cured by the medicines she had been given.
Larivee and his team of researchers also discovered problems that were not taken into account in the beatification process of Mother Teresa, like “her rather dubious way of caring for the sick, her questionable political contacts, her suspicious management of the enormous sums of money she received, and her overly dogmatic views regarding, in particular, abortion, contraception, and divorce.”
Despite as many as 517 missions in over 100 countries, there were evident unhygienic and “even unfit” conditions, insufficient food and no painkillers. People who came looking for medical care, the study says, did not find it there. This was because of her “particular conception of suffering and death,” the study says. Speaking with Christopher Hitchens, Mother Teresa had once said, “There is something beautiful in seeing the poor accept their lot, to suffer it like Christ’s Passion. The world gains much from their suffering.”
According to News.Va, Pope Francis also gave his approval for the canonization of four other saints – Blessed Stanisłaus of Jesus and Mary, member of the Piarise Order, from Poland; Blessed Maria Elizabeth Hesselblad of Sweden; Blessed José Gabriel del Rosario from Argentina; and Blessed José Luis Sánchez del Río of Mexico.