The woman whose illness was cured through the intercession of Mother Teresa said she is the instrument God chose to show the enormous healing power of the sister renowned the world over for serving the poorest of the poor.
"God chose me as the medium for people to see Mother Teresa's enormous power to cure, not only with her physical cures, but through her miracles," Monica Besra told the Associated Press, before leaving for Rome for Mother Teresa’s beatification ceremony, held Mission Sunday, Oct. 19.
The 35-year-old told AP that the miracle began with a vision. Besra fell seriously ill in 1998 however, the causes of her illness vary. Some doctors said she had a malignant tumor, while others said she had tubercular meningitis. She visited the hospital and was prescribed four anti-TB drugs.
Unable to care for herself, and too poor to remain at the state hospital, Besra's family took her to a hospice run by the Missionaries of Charity. On the first anniversary of Mother Teresa’s death – Sept. 5, 1998 – the sisters told her that the day was holy and invited her to pray with them, even though she was Hindu, reported AP.
"When I went in for the prayers and looked at a photograph of Mother Teresa, I saw rays of light coming from her eyes, and I felt very light and dizzy," Besra told AP. "I started shaking and my heart was beating very fast. I felt scared as I didn't know what was happening to me."
Besra told AP that the sisters helped her back to bed and told her to pray. At 5 p.m., they placed a medallion of Mother Mary on the large lump in her right abdomen and told her to pray. "At 1 a.m. the next morning, I awoke with a start and suddenly felt so light," Besra told AP. "I was so excited, I woke up the woman in the bed next to me, Simira, and told her, 'Look, it's gone!'" Besra and her family have since converted to Catholicism.
The postulator for Mother Teresa’s cause, Fr. Brian Kolodiejchuk, said five Italian doctors found no medical explanation for the cure. The Canadian priest added that the Congregation for the Causes of Saints interviewed 113 people and has 35,000 pages of documentation about the sister’s virtues.
Pope John Paul II credited Mother Teresa with Besra’s cure last year, thereby approving the sister’s first miracle – a necessary step before beatification. Mother Teresa will be eligible for sainthood after she has been credited with a second miracle.