Mother Teresa miracle recipient feels grateful, not special

Sat Sep 3, 2016 3:41pm EDT
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By Isla Binnie

ROME (Reuters) - As the Roman Catholic Church prepares to declare Mother Teresa of Calcutta officially a saint, the man the Church believes she miraculously intervened to rescue from the brink of death says he does not think she chose him specifically.

Mother Teresa, a Nobel Peace Prize winner affectionately known during her lifetime as the "saint of the gutters" for her work among the poor of India and who died in 1997, is due to be officially canonized by Pope Francis on Sunday at a ceremony likely to bring more than 100,000 people to St. Peter's Square.

The Church opened the way for Mother Teresa's canonization last year after declaring the recovery of Brazilian Marcilio Haddad Andrino from a life-threatening brain infection a miracle.

Andrino, who is 43 and lives in Rio de Janeiro, told a news conference at the Vatican on Friday he felt very grateful but thought anybody else could equally have benefited from her intervention.

"If it hadn't happened to me maybe there would be someone else tomorrow. She did not distinguish. I don't feel special," said Andrino, who was due to attend Sunday's ceremony with his wife Fernanda will attend Sunday's canonization ceremony.

When Andrino was afflicted by brain abscesses and hydrocephalus from which doctors feared he would not recover in 2008, the couple prayed to Mother Teresa, who became famous for her work in the slums of the Indian city now known as Kolkata.

He said his condition deteriorated to the point that he struggled to walk down the aisle at his wedding in September 2008 and by early December he was unconscious in hospital.

Andrino was scheduled for brain surgery, but when he suddenly awoke shortly before the allocated surgery time without the headache that had been tormenting him, the doctor told him the intervention would not be necessary.   Continued...

A nun from the members of Mother Teresa's order, the Missionaries of Charity, holds a prayer card during the unveiling an official canonization portrait of Mother Teresa at the John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, U.S., September 1, 2016. REUTERS/Gary Cameron