Mother Teresa felt 'tag of the devil'

 

An exorcism was performed on Mother Teresa towards the end of her life because she felt the "tag of the devil", the Archbishop of Calcutta, Dr Henry Sebastian D'Souza said yesterday.

"She and I were in the same hospital when I noticed she got very agitated at night although she was very peaceful during the day.

"When there was no medical explanation for it I concluded it could be the tag of the devil," he said.

"I then asked a priest to perform an exorcism prayer on her. It lasted for half-an-hour," the archbishop said. "I am glad I did ... it helped her sleep peacefully during the night."

Father Dominic Emmanuel, a spokesman for the Catholic Bishops Conference, the church's top body in India, said the exorcism cast no slur on Mother Teresa's saintly reputation or character.

"It is not the first time that a saint has been troubled.

"History is replete with examples ... Saint John Vianney from France was troubled in a similar manner," he said.

"Exorcism is something recognised by the church done in exceptional cases. We believe that Jesus exorcised evil spirits from people and Jesus was tempted by the devil in a similar way."

On Wednesday thousands of people paid tribute to Mother Teresa on the fourth anniversary of her death by visiting the headquarters of the order she founded in the eastern Indian city of Calcutta.

Men, women and children thronged the Missionaries of Charity centre to place flowers and garlands on her tomb.