DAILY CATHOLIC     TUESDAY     July 27, 1999     vol. 10, no. 139

from a CATHOLIC perspective

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          CALCUTTA (CWNews.com) - Archbishop Henry D'Souza of Calcutta on Monday began the public phase of the formal process for the canonization of Mother Teresa by opening an inquiry into the "life, virtues, and reputation of sanctity" for the missionary who died in 1997.

          Thousands of people attended the first session at St. Mary's Church in Calcutta where the archbishop said the inquiry could take about a year. "The Church must be sure that someone who is to be declared a saint is truly such." Apart from testimony that Mother Teresa lived a life of heroic virtue, canonization also requires proof of two miracles attributed to her intercession.

          Pope John Paul II accelerated the canonization process for the woman who was almost universally declared a living saint during the latter part of her 87 years by waiving the customary five-year waiting period. In addition to founding the Missionaries of Charity religious order, Mother Teresa also received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 and numerous recognitions for her work among the poor, indigent, and marginalized of society.

          Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, a Canadian priest who will prepare the case for beatification, said several miracles have already been attributed to Mother Teresa. "In the time following Mother Teresa's death, her reputation of sanctity has continued and even increased in extent and intensity," he said. Archbishop D'Souza said a patient in Raiganj in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal claimed that a tumor disappeared after receiving blessings from Mother Teresa. The archbishop said the case has been authenticated by a doctor.

          In the meeting on Monday, the inquiry team was sworn in and asked to take a vow of secrecy. About 100 witnesses are expected to testify about their experiences with Mother Teresa.

Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

July 27, 1999       volume 10, no. 139


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