By MARISSA VONESH
After dedicating her life serving the poorest of the poor in India, Mother Teresa was canonized a saint by Pope Francis on Sunday, Sept. 4, just 19 years after her death.
Mother Teresa founded the religious order, the Missionaries of Charity, in 1950 to better serve the sick, dying, and lonely people of Calcutta, India. The Missionaries of Charity has grown and now serves people in need across all continents and has over 4,500 Sisters running orphanages and homes for the sick, dying and disabled.
In the wake of the canonization, media organizations, both secular and religious, have focused on Mother Teresa’s life and claim to fame, alongside her criticism. Despite Vatican reviews of Mother Teresa’s pious life and the confirmation of two accounts of miraculous healing, critics of the new saint continue to claim that Mother Teresa was a fraud.
Despite Vatican reviews of Mother Teresa’s pious life and the confirmation of two accounts of miraculous healing, critics of the new saint continue to claim that Mother Teresa was a fraud.
Hemley Gonzalez, a Miami businessman and former volunteer of a home run by the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata’s (formerly Calcutta) Kalighat area, claims that the medical care and organization of the home was unbelievable, according to CNN.
Furthermore, the validity of the miracles aided by Mother Teresa has come into question. Many critics claim that the “miracles” were in fact medically cured, not divinely cured.
One of the critics, Seiku Murmu, exclaims his wife, Monica Besra, one of the two people cured by Mother Teresa’s intercession, was in fact cured by doctors.
“It is much ado about nothing,” Murmu said in an interview with TIME Magazine. “My wife did feel less pain one night when she used the locket [of Mother Teresa], but her pain had been coming and going. Then she went to the doctors, and they cured her.”
As a famous figure, Mother Teresa not only touches lives of Catholics but also those who are atheists, Hindu, Muslim or otherwise. The media’s account of the positive feature stories
The news media’s account of the positive feature stories, the traditional canonization mass, and personal volunteer stories allow the audience to reflect on the valid service Mother Teresa provided to the poor.
Furthermore, although controversial, the coverage of the criticism engages the audience to question components of Mother Teresa’s life work and come to an informed personal decision.
However, the coverage of the criticism, including doctors, volunteers and different organization members point to assertions without much evidence or explanation. Even if the conditions of the Missionaries of Charity’s houses are not top quality, the critics and media outlets do not explain that the first and foremost mission of Mother Teresa was to love the unwanted in society. Mother Teresa was not a doctor or a nurse, she was a religious sister who served God in the best ways she saw fit.