VATICAN CITY--Mother Teresa moved a step closer to beatification this week when a Vatican committee approved a reported miracle attributed to the late Roman Catholic nun, church officials said.
Beatification is the last formal step before sainthood. After a candidate has been beatified, the church must approve reports of a second miracle before the person can be declared a saint.
The first miracle, according to the Vatican panel that handles the process leading to sainthood, involved an Indian woman in her 30s who was cured of a stomach tumor because of the intercession of Mother Teresa.
"We are very grateful to God for this wonderful grace, and we are very joyful," said Sister Nirmala, head of the order founded by Mother Teresa, the Missionaries of Charity, based in Calcutta.
Pope John Paul II must still give formal approval, a step not expected before December. After that, a date would be set for her beatification, but this could not take place before spring, a Vatican official said on condition of anonymity.
After Mother Teresa died in 1997 at age 87, the pope waived the customary five-year waiting period to start the procedures that can lead to sainthood.