Mother Teresa’s dubious ‘miracles’

Just as in the Dark Ages, the Church is always prompt to fill gaps in knowledge with superstitious beliefs

25 September 2016, 8:11am
Two dubious 'miracles' have been ascribed to the 'intervention' of St Mother Teresa
Two dubious 'miracles' have been ascribed to the 'intervention' of St Mother Teresa
Two dubious “miracles” have been ascribed to the “intervention” of St Mother Teresa. The first miracle allegedly took place in the Bengali village of Raigunj where a woman called Monica Besra was cured of cancer.

Dr Manju Murshed, the superintendent of the local hospital, and Dr T.K. Biswas and his gynaecologist colleague, Dr Ranjan Mustafi all came forward to say that Mrs Besra had been suffering from tuberculosis and an ovarian growth and that she had been successfully treated for both afflictions (Aroup Chatterjee, Mother Teresa: The Final Verdict).

The hospital superintendent declared that he was annoyed at the numerous calls he had received from Mother Teresa’s religious order, pressing him to say that the cure had been “miraculous”.

Mrs Besra herself proved an unreliable witness to the alleged “miracle”. During her interview, she talked at high speed because, as she put it, she “might otherwise forget”, and she begged to be excused questions because she “might have to remember”.

Her husband insisted that she had been cured by ordinary, regular medical treatment.

The second dubious “miracle”, involving a Brazilian man, was based on a generalization by the Vatican’s medical commission regarding the present-day lack of medical knowledge to explain the man’s recovery.

Just as in the Dark Ages, the Church is always prompt to fill gaps in knowledge with superstitious beliefs. It ascribes the healing of a living man to the “intervention” of a dead woman who, in her own private letters, had revealed that “for the last 50 years of her life felt no presence of God whatsoever”, and that she had her own doubts about the existence of God.

John Guillaumier

St Julian’s