Monica (50), a poor tribal farmer’s wife from Harirampur in South Dinajpur district, said she will pray for the people of the country, of the world, her district, her village and finally her family in that order at her home on the day. Her husband Selku Murmu said he would do the same.
Harirampur is about 400 km from Kolkata, where Mother Teresa lived and worked to help the sick, poor and dying and set up her Missionaries of Charity.
Monica, who was cured of a large stomach tumour miraculously, says it was due to the divine power of Mother Teresa whom she worships.
I was taken to Rome in 2003 and narrated the incident in which Mother Teresa’s divine power healed me. I would have loved to attend Mother Teresa’s canonisation, she said adding she has no regrets that she had not received any invitation.
She had met Pope John Paul II and his cardinals in 2003 and had narrated her experience to them, which later on became Mother Teresa’s first miracle. This led to the nun’s beatification later that year.
The second miracle was the 2008 recovery of a Brazilian man suffering from multiple brain tumours.
Monica’s story is well-chronicled. She had been suffering from a tumour in her abdomen about 20 years ago and was in pain but the long medication process and visits to many doctors did not help. Her husband took her to doctors at a nearby government hospital but the treatment was so expensive that the family had to mortgage their land.
Her sister took her to the Missionaries of Charity centre near the village. “I was so ill I couldn’t eat anything. The sisters there even took me to a doctor in Siliguri, but he said I might not regain consciousness if operated upon,” remembers the mother of five. On September 4, 1998, a day before Mother Teresa’s first death anniversary, the Sisters helped to take her to the church to pray.
“There was a photograph of Mother Teresa there. When I entered the Church a blinding light from Mother’s photo enveloped me. I didn’t know what was happening and returned to my bed at the centre as I was too ill,” said Monica.
She recalled that in the night one of the Sisters brought a medallion of the Mother and tied it on her abdomen after saying a prayer.
“I prayed to Mother for a long time. I used to have trouble sleeping because of the pain, but that night I fell asleep. At about 1 am I woke up and saw that my stomach was flat and the tumour was gone. There was no pain,” she said.