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Mother Teresa - reality versus illusion
'I am not sure exactly what heaven will be like, but I know that when we die and it comes time for God to judge us, he will not ask, 'How many good things have you done in your life?' rather he will ask, 'How much love did you put into what you did?' - Mother Teresa

I’m Muslim but I had always revered Mother Teresa; she is my ideal of childhood, a beacon my kids, my relation, my friends and my society. We used to discuss quite often why, in Islam, we don’t have such an ideal in recent memory. For me, she was a living miracle, an embodiment sanctity, piousness and virtue. She was a mirage of Heaven I was chasing, an illusion that had held me in this world of wickedness, impiety and sin.

And today, the illusion is disappearing fast with a report of Canadian researchers appearing in today’s newspapers. We all love icons and often attribute them qualities which they never possessed. It pampers our imagination, it satisfies our ego and transports us into an Eldorado of our making. But what happens when the lies give way to facts; when the spotless glass cracks and hallow of greatness turns farce?  

“RELEIGIUSES”, the famous magazine about religion and science published these shocking comments about Mother Teresa: “The apostle of dying and downtrodden actually felt that it was beautiful to see the poor suffer. Her ways of caring for the sick were dubious and she glorified the sufferings instead of relieving it.”

According to researchers Serge Larivee and Genevieve Chenard, University of Montreal, department of psycho-education, “Her hallowed image does not stand up to analysis of facts and it was constructed". Mother was running 517 missions as ‘Homes For the Dying.’ They welcomed the poor and sick in more than 100 countries. Two thirds of these missions hoped to find a doctor to treat them while the other third lay dying without receiving apt care.” They say that problem was not with the paucity of funds as the ‘Order of Missionaries of Charity’ successfully raised hundreds of millions of dollars. However, when it came to her own treatment she received in a modern American Hospital.

Agnex Goxa Bojaxhiu aka Mother Teresa aka ‘Saint of Gutters’ is a name that inspired nothing but ‘milk of human kinness.’ Vatican had decided to waive the usual five-year period to open the beatiship process and Pope accorded the title of ‘Saint.’ It was claimed that she had cured Monica Besra of her intense abdominal pain with the ‘blessed Medallion.’

However, the claim is challenged by the doctors who treated the lady. According to Larivee, “the doctors thought that the ovarian cyst and the tuberculosis from which she suffered were healed by drugs they had given her. The Vatican, nevertheless, concluded that it was a miracle. Mother’s popularity was such that she had become untouchable for the population, which has already declared a saint.

Reality, farce or figment of kind imaginations? According the researchers, if the extraordinary image of Mother Teresa conveyed in the collective imagination has encouraged humanitarian initiatives that are genuinely engaged with those crushed with poverty, we can only rejoice.

Meanwhile I don’t know what to do with shattered dreams! My deity also had the feet of clay.    

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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