Mother Teresa’s first miracle required to be made a saint was officially recognized in 1998, one year after her death, her intercession reportedly cured an Indian woman of a stomach tumor. Monica Besra explained “There was no way any doctor would have operated on me at that hour,” Besra told TIME of writhing in pain in a home that was run by Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity on Sept. 5, 1998. “So the nuns just started praying and kept a Mother Teresa medallion on my stomach. The pain subsided, and the tumor vanished.”
Besra’s husband, Seiku, would later say that he believed that medicine had cured his wife, not divine intervention, Mother Teresa’s first miracle was officially recognized by the Vatican and counted toward her beatification in 2003. “It’s much an ado about nothing. My wife was cured by the doctors and not a miracle…This miracle is a hoax.”
Doctors Tarun Kumar Biswas and Ranjan Mustafi said Besra indeed had a lump in her stomach but it was not a full-grown tumour and she responded steadily to several months of treatment.
Details of the second miracle are hard to come by with the name of man suffering from brain tumours being withheld. The unidentified man in Santos, Brazil, was in a coma and about to undergo an emergency operation when a neurosurgeon "returned to the operating room and found the patient inexplicably awake and without pain," the statement said. The patient made an immediate and full recovery. Despite tests showing that prolonged drug treatment had made him sterile, he went on to have two children,
When Mother Teresa is be canonised, no fewer than four countries will celebrate her as their own saint. She was born in what is now the the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, to ethnic Albanians from Kosovo, and she lived most of her life in India, where she died and was buried. Albania, which still claims her remains, named the airport, a square and a hospital in the capital Tirana after her, has made Oct. 19, the day she was beatified, a national public holiday. Macedonia has opened a museum containing relics and memories from her early in Skopje, where she lived until she was 18, and built a several-meters high bronze statue of her. Kosovo, meanwhile, named the main street in its capital Pristina in her honor.