ROME — Jorge Bergoglio, also known as Pope Francis, tweeted a prayer on Saturday to Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, also known as Mother Teresa, asking her to pray that acts of charity in the world will be motivated by love. Bojaxhiu died in 1997 and was declared a venerated saint by Bergoglio in 2016 for purportedly bringing about miracles after her death through intercession.
“Mother Teresa, tireless worker of charity, pray for us, so that our criterion for action might be gratuitous love, offered freely to everyone without distinction of language, culture, race, or religion,” Bergoglio wrote, generating 43K likes as of press time.
As previously reported, Bojaxhiu won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for her attention to the world’s impoverished. She is known for her humanitarianism on the streets of Calcutta, India in founding the Missionaries of Charity.
She died at the age of 87 and was beatified by Pope John Paul II. Beatification is “a recognition accorded by the Catholic Church of a dead person’s entrance into Heaven and capacity to intercede on behalf of individuals who pray in his or her name.”
In 2015, the Vatican announced that Bojaxhiu would be canonized after being attributed to two miracles since her passing.
“The Holy Father has authorized the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to proclaim the decree concerning the miracle attributed to the intercession of blessed Mother Teresa,” it said in a statement.
In the Roman Catholic religion, in order for a person to be sainted, they must be credited with bringing about two miracles after their death through their intercession, with the exception of just one miracle for those who are martyred for their faith.
The first miracle the Vatican attributed to Bojaxhiu was the healing of a cancerous tumor suffered by an Indian woman in 2003.
“[W]hen I prayed to Mother Teresa from my heart, Mother Teresa blessed me and now I am healthy,” Monica Besra told in
The second involved a Brazilian man who contracted a viral infection in 2008 and slipped into a coma after developing brain abscesses.
“The patient’s wife continuously sought the intercession of the Blessed Mother Teresa for her husband,” explained Brian Kolodiejchiuk, who had called for Bojaxhiu’s canonization, in a statement last December.
When the man was wheeled into an operating room, the arriving surgeon found him awake and asking, “What am I doing here?” He recovered, and despite being told that he would never be able to have children, his wife conceived.
In September 2016, Bergoglio consequently declared Bojaxhiu a saint before a crowd of over 100K, outlining that she may now be referred to as “Saint Teresa” rather than “Mother Teresa.”
“[A]fter due deliberation and frequent prayer for divine assistance, and having sought the counsel of many of our brother bishops, we declare and define Blessed Teresa of Calcutta to be a saint, and we enroll her among the saints, decreeing that she is to be venerated as such by the whole church,” he stated.
While some joined in Bergoglio’s post to Bojaxhiu on Saturday and likewise sought her intercession, others took issue with the practice of asking the dead for their prayers.
“I would like to know where in the Bible it said that you can pray to dead people,” one commenter wrote.
“Is this a joke? The Bible forbids praying to the dead,” another stated. “It is satanic.”
“Praying to anyone other than the Father or His Son are just unheard prayers,” a third remarked.
“Teresa is dead. She can’t help you, and she can’t pray for you,” one wrote. “If she could, she would say that we have One Advocate, One Intercessor to the Father, and that One is Jesus the Messiah. Teresa is dead. Do not follow the dead. Follow and pray to Him only who rose from the dead.”
1 Timothy 2:5 says, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”
Jesus taught in John 14:13-14, “And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in My name, I will do it.”
1 John 4:1 also exhorts, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God, because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”