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The aging woman who won hearts and minds all over the world for giving her whole life to the downtrodden and the outcasts of India has finally been canonized as Saint Teresa at the Vatican on Sunday, a day before her death anniversary.
People remember her acts and her sayings which are still being repeated by people the world over. Sayings such as, If you judge people, you have no time to love them or There are no great things, only small things with great love have been used as timeless axioms that countless people have lived by.
But besides having a selfless life supporting the poor and the lepers, few know that through her canonization, Mother Teresa has joined a mystical league of individuals whose figures hold sway over the faithful. Ironically, she has been attributed a miracle that now links Mother Teresa to the terror group ISIS.
Mother Teresa is only one out of hundreds from Eastern Europe that was canonized. She joins the ranks of Saint Nicholas, a fourth century bishop of Myra (in modern Turkey), who was known for leaving secret gifts and was credited for resurrecting three children that were killed by a butcher who had intended to eat them. Saint Nicholas eventually became the popular Yuletide figure, Santa Claus.
Just like St. Nicholas, the Roman Catholic Church has attributed to Mother Teresa at least two miracles after her death. One is the disappearance of a stomach tumor after nuns placed a pin touched by Mother Teresa on the Indian woman’s belly. The second involved a schoolgirl in France who had a vision and claimed in that vision Mother Teresa appeared to her, telling her of the rise of the Islamic State terror group.
Even Mother Teresa’s legacy was tarnished by ISIS. In early March of this year, a retirement home in Yemen, started a year after Mother Teresa’s death and run by the Missionaries of Charity came under attack by the Islamic State group, killing 4 nuns and 12 employees who were shot in the head.
Whether the miracles attributed to her are believed or not, one thing is certain, and that is Mother Teresa remains as a national hero today, almost 20 years after her death in 1997. It is regretful that Mother Teresa’s warnings about ISIS were not heeded before it was too late. Could things have turned out differently for war torn Syria and Iraq had things been otherwise?