To be canonised as a Saint by the Catholic Church, an individual must have performed two miracles. Mother Teresa also is also said to have performed two miracles paving way for her sainthood on September 4, 2016. Let us look at the real story behind these miracles.
The first miracle reportedly happened in 1998. The version given by Missionaries of Charity and readily accepted by the Catholic Church is that Monica Besra, a tribal living in a remote village about 500 km from Kolkata (capital of the state of West Bengal in India) was cured of a massive tumor on September 6, 1998, a day after the first anniversary of Mother Teresa’s death,after two nuns tied on her body an aluminium medal that had been in contact with the Mother’s dead body, and prayed all night !
However interestingly, one of the doctors involved in Besra’s treatment told The Washington Post’s correspondent Anni Gowen recently that it was not a miracle but medicines which cured Besra.
Gowen writes in a news report quoting Dr Ranjan Mustafi : “I’ve said several times that she was cured cured by the treatment, and nothing has happened.” Besra herself had initially said she was cured by the medicine, her husband is also known to have said the same thing. But later on, it seems, she was ‘convinced’ by the Church to change her stand again.
The net result of this ‘change in stand’ is reflected in what Gowen found after meeting Besra, “The couple, who own about three acres of rice paddy, has gotten a bit of support in the intervening years from the Missionaries of Charity, including assistance with school expenses for their five children. Last year, a local priest built a small green chapel opposite their home where the related families worship most Sundays. They all converted to Catholicism more than a decade ago.”
Could it be just coincidence that Besra and her family, who belonged to a tribal Hindu community, get converted to Catholicism and subsequently get financial support of the Church. And now there is a Church which has been built opposite their home! It is also clear from above that not only Besras but a number of other tribal Hindu families have also been converted in this area ( otherwise why to build a Chapel?). Surely they myth of this “Miracle” must have worked well to convince the innocent tribal communities here to believe in the ‘miraculous’ power of Catholicism.
(to be continued)