This is some People-Magazine-level credulousness, NPR:
Humanitarian work alone, however, is not sufficient for canonization in the Catholic Church. Normally, a candidate must be associated with at least two miracles. The idea is that a person worthy of sainthood must demonstrably be in heaven, actually interceding with God on behalf of those in need of healing. In Mother Teresa's case, a woman in India whose stomach tumor disappeared and a man in Brazil with brain abscesses who awoke from a coma both credited their dramatic recovery to prayers offered to the nun after her death in 1997.
Believers believing ≠ miracles or proof of miracles. Attention seekers attention seeking ≠ miracles or proof of miracles. Highly subjective and consequently suspect interpretations of rare-but-not-unheard-of events (spontaneous remission, waking up from a coma) ≠ miracles or proof of miracles.
As for this..
A few miracle stories in recent years have involved non-medical situations, such as when a small pot of rice prepared in a church kitchen in Spain in 1949 proved sufficient to feed nearly 200 hungry people, after the cook prayed to a local saint. More than 95 percent of the cases cited in support of a canonization, however, involve healing from disease. Hard-core rationalists would not be likely to see such cases as evidence of a "miracle," even while acknowledging they have no alternative explanation.
I'm curious how many "hard-core rationalists" NPR reached out to for comment before airing this credulous piece of faith-affirming crap. I'm guessing none. Because alternative explanations are obvious and plentiful. Here are two right off the top of my head: that miraculous pot of rice was faked—there's money to be made off local saints, miracles, pilgrims, relics, trinkets—and, again, spontaneous remission is actually a thing, NPR, a well-documented, non-miraculous, completely-Googleable thing:
Frequency [has been] estimated to be about 1 in 100,000 cancers; however, this ratio might be under- or overestimated. For one, not all cases of spontaneous regression can be apprehended, either because the case was not well documented or the physician was not willing or literate enough to publish, or simply because the patient did not show up in a clinic any more. On the other hand, for the past 100 years almost all cancer patients have been treated in one way or the other, such that the influence of treatment cannot always be excluded. At least for small tumors the frequency of spontaneous regression most likely was drastically underrated. In a carefully designed study on mammography it was found that 22% of all breast cancer cases underwent spontaneous regression.
Second-to-last word goes to Christopher Hitchens...
As for the "miracle" that [was attributed to Mother Teresa], what can one say? Surely any respectable Catholic cringes with shame at the obviousness of the fakery. A Bengali woman named Monica Besra claims that a beam of light emerged from a picture of MT, which she happened to have in her home, and relieved her of a cancerous tumor. Her physician, Dr. Ranjan Mustafi, says that she didn't have a cancerous tumor in the first place and that the tubercular cyst she did have was cured by a course of prescription medicine. Was he interviewed by the Vatican's investigators? No.
Last word goes to Tim Minchin:
Fuck me Sam, what are the odds
That of history's endless parade of gods
That the God you just happened to be taught to believe in
Is the actual God and he digs on healing,
But not the AIDS-ridden African nations
Nor the victims of the plague, nor the flood-addled Asians,
But healthy, privately-insured Australians
With common and curable lens degeneration
The story of Sam's has but a single explanation:
A surgical God who digs on magic operations
No, it couldn't be mistaken attribution of causation
Born of a coincidental temporal correlation
Exacerbated by a general lack of education
Vis-a-vis physics in Sam's parish congregation
No it couldn't be that all these pious people are liars
It couldn't be an artifact of confirmation bias
A product of groupthink,
A mass delusion,
An Emperor's New Clothes-style fear of exclusion
No, it's more likely to be an all-powerful magician
Than the misdiagnosis of the initial condition,
Or one of many cases of spontaneous remission,
Or a record-keeping glitch by the local physician
No, the only explanation for Sam's mum's seeing:
They prayed to an all-knowing superbeing,
To the omnipresent master of the universe,
And he quite liked the sound of their muttered verse.
So for a bit of a change from his usual stunt
Of being a sexist, racist, murderous cunt
He popped down to Dandenong and just like that
Used his powers to heal the cataracts of Sam's mum