Mother Teresa's beatification lets Calcutta grab global attention

Calcutta came under global focus as Pope beatified Mother Teresa this year
( [email protected] ) Dec 19, 2003 10:42 AM EST

Calcutta, India., Dec. 19 - Calcutta grabbed the global attention this year which marked the fastest-ever beatification ceremony of Mother Teresa in Vatican City. With Pope John Paul-II declaring Mother Teresa as 'Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta', the year 2003 saw the name of this metropolis permanently etched in the canons of the Roman Catholic Church.

The October 19 ceremony at St Peter's square of Vatican City made her 1,315th beatified person in the entire Catholic Church and the sixth in India.

This will enable her worship in Missionaries of Charity houses world-wide, adding a feather in the cap to this 'City of Joy' which has produced four Nobel Laureates.

Awarded on the basis of a North Bengal tribal woman Monica Besra's claim of a miraculous cure at the intercession of Mother Teresa, the beatification puts her on the threshold of sainthood, a process formally known as canonisation that requires evidence of another miracle after beatification.

Once canonised, as keenly desired by the ailing Pope, the nun will be known as 'Mother Teresa of Calcutta' enabling her universal worship in all Catholic churches the world over.

Though the Vatican put her on fast track to sainthood waiving the customary five-year waiting period after her death for starting the process, her journey to the "Blessed" status had not been easy.

Controversy brewed over claims of Besra who asserted that she was cured of her abdominal tumour after she prayed to Mother Teresa. Doctors who treated the tribal woman at the Raigunj Hospital and the North Bengal Medical College in Siliguri, however, persistently denied her claims, saying she was cured by medical treatment.