Pope Francis has cleared the way for Mother Teresa to become a saint next year, by recognizing a second miracle attributed to her. The Nobel Prize-winning nun, who died in 1997 and became famous for taking care of the poor in the slums of Calcutta, India, was beatified in 2003 by Pope John Paul II. To qualify for sainthood, at least two miracles must be attributed to a person after their death. That last hurdle was cleared by Pope Francis as he ratified the miracle of the reported healing of a Brazilian man with several brain tumors in 2008, after his family members had prayed to Mother Teresa. There are few details known about the man’s “supernatural” recovery, and his identity has not been disclosed by the Vatican, in order to maintain the discretion of the investigation. Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity in 1949, and became known worldwide icon as the “saint of the gutter.” Her detractors, however (most famously, Christopher Hitchens) accused her of allying herself with dictators and promoting a fundamentalist Catholicism that campaigned strongly against anti-conception and abortion.
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