Mother Teresa is now a Saint. Proclaimed to that title September 4, by Pope Francis, a day before the 19th anniversary of her death September 5 1997.

St. Peter’s square was packed, as usual, for the ceremony and while most of the coverage was positive there remain a few dissenters that the move was too soon after her death. The same thing was said of St. John Paul II who was canonized April 27, 2015 just nine years after his April 2 2005 death. St. John XXIII was Canonized at the same time as John Paul II but he at least had been dead for about 61 years.

In the past, it sometimes took centuries after their death for an individual to be recognized as a Saint. St. Kateri died in 1680 but it wasn’t until the second miracle was attributed to her in 2006, healing a young boy from flesh eating disease in the State of Washington.

Somewhere I read that the original intent of Sainthood was to recognize an individual who led a very special faith-filled and virtuous life and miracles were not required. They were accepted as proof the individual and indeed reached heaven and could intercede before God on behalf of those who pray to them. Pope Benedict XIV in the 18th century formalized what had been practice but not requirement. John Paul II in 1985 dropped the miracle requirement to one. St. John XXIII had only one miracle attributed to him but John Paul II said he had lived a virtuous life and established Vatican II so he was canonized.

There are some in the Church who feel the miracle requirement should be dropped altogether. Most miracles are in the medical realm but with the advance of medical science, it is harder to determine if a miracle or medical science created a cure.

Food for thought.

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