‘Mother Teresa’ by Joe McVeigh


In December 1999, at the end of the 20th century, Gallup asked Americans which person they most admired from the last 100 years. Mother Teresa came out on top, and it wasn’t even close – 49 percent named her, with the next closest being Martin Luther King Jr. at 34 percent.

When Mother Teresa became “St. Teresa of Calcutta” on Sept. 4,  it was believed to be the largest public event of Pope Francis’ jubilee Year of Mercy. Her beatification in 2003 drew an estimated 300,000 people to St. Peter’s Square and the surrounding area, and organizers anticipate that turnout was surpassed this time around. God, not popes, makes saints.

Catholic belief holds that if someone is truly a saint, that individual is already in heaven. A canonization is understood as an after-the-fact recognition of what’s already happened. In other words, canonization is not for the saint, it’s for the rest of us – lifting up a new role model of holiness, and a new friend in heaven to whom the whole Church can pray.

It’s also worth recalling that sainthood, at least in theory, is one of the most democratic processes in Catholic life. It’s supposed to start with what’s traditionally known as a “cult,” meaning popular devotion to a given figure who had a reputation for sanctity. Officialdom is to come in only after that’s been established, investigating the candidate and, eventually, if all the boxes are checked, applying its seal of approval.

In all honesty, there have been a few cases over the years where that popular will is a bit difficult to spot, but definitely not here. Like John Paul II, for whom the crowd chanted ‘Santo Subito!’ at his funeral Mass, Mother Teresa was a saint in the hearts of most Catholic people long before her name will be entered into the official canon.

All that represents the primary significance of what happened in Rome Sept. 4.




7 Responses to ‘Mother Teresa’ by Joe McVeigh

  1. pjdorrian September 9, 2016 at 6:39 pm #


  2. Wolfe tone September 9, 2016 at 7:12 pm #

    Pope John Paul? Was he the clown that made Jimmy savile a Papal Knight? There’s none so blind……..

    • Dominic Hendron September 9, 2016 at 11:09 pm #

      Did you see the picture?

      • Dominic Hendron September 9, 2016 at 11:14 pm #

        Read him from the cradle to the grave. There is none so blind……..

  3. billy September 9, 2016 at 9:56 pm #

    she was a fraudster collecting money for hospitals that were never built.
    they will sell millions of trinkets with her face on them in another worldwide scam,ime sure she will be proud.

  4. Jim Neeson September 10, 2016 at 9:43 am #

    My God but there are some sick minded people around!!!
    Saint Teresa of Calcutta is a Saint regardless of these slurs.
    If her detractors done as much as a millionith of her good work the world would be a better place Sine

  5. Mark September 10, 2016 at 6:21 pm #

    I can recall her comments on the hunger strikers, never liked her after that.