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Mother Teresa 'Miracles' Clear The Way For Nun To Be Made A Saint

18/12/2015 12:00 GMT | Updated 18/12/2015 15:59 GMT

Mother Teresa is set to become a saint after the Vatican attributed a second miracle to her.

What is a miracle?

Theoretically miracles can be anything that is thought to be scientifically inexplicable, although the Roman Catholic Church remains very traditional in its view of what can be dubbed miraculous. In recent years, this has tended to be mainly healings.

According to Foreign Policy magazine, the miracle must be complete and durable, meaning a cured condition doesn’t return.

A number of Popes, including the late John Paul II, have been credited with miraculous healings.

mother teresa

Mother Teresa has had a second miracle attributed to her

What is the latest miracle Mother Teresa has be recognised as performing?

The Roman Catholic nun, who died in 1997, has been credited with the healing of a Brazilian man from multiple brain tumours.

Few details have been released about the incident, which Rome believes to be her second supernatural healing.

What other miracles is she believed to have performed?

The recognition clears the way for the Macedonian-born nun to be made a saint after a previous miracle was accepted in 2002.

She was beatified that year, after Pope John Paul II recognised that she cured a woman from an abdominal tumour.

Monika Besra, a Bengali tribeswoman, was said to have been healed in 1998 - the year after Teresa’s death.

According to the Guardian, a statement from the Vatican said: “The Holy Father has authorised the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to proclaim the decrees concerning the miracle attributed to the intercession of blessed Mother Teresa.”

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How does one become a saint?

There is normally a wait of five years after a person’s death to begin the process of making someone a saint.

Once the process begins, there may be an investigation into the ‘holiness’ of the candidate’s life.

There must usually be two verified miracles attributed to the person, unless they are a martyr, where they are let off with just one.

The Congregation for the Causes of the Saints is the Vatican office in charge of the process.

What is Mother Teresa well-known for?

Mother Teresa, born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, lived with religious orders in her home country and in Ireland, before moving to India.

In the city of Kolkata (previously known as Calcutta), she went on to found the Missionaries of Charity. The Roman Catholic congregation worked to run hospices and home for people with HIV/Aids, leprosy and tuberculosis, as well as offering food and medical care to the poor.

She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.

She lived in the Indian city until her death.

missionaries of charity

The nun in one of the shelters set up by the Missionaries of Charity

Why was Mother Teresa criticised?

While Teresa was beloved by many a she also received her fair share of criticism.

One of her most outspoken critics was journalist Christopher Hitchens, who produced a book called The Missionary Position and a Channel 4 documentary entitled Hell’s Angel about her. In these, he claimed that she used her work to foist her faith on desperate people. In the book, he labelled her a "religious fundamentalist, a political operative, a primitive sermoniser, and an accomplice of worldly secular powers".

Some also criticised the conditions of her facilities and claimed that she did little to try to cure people.

Reacting to the news of her second verified miracle, Richard Dawkins tweeted: