All of India, and much of the Catholic world, has been buzzing about the presentation to the Vatican this week of the case of an Indian woman said to be the recipient of Mother Teresa's first miracle--a significant step toward Teresa's canonization. Monica Besra, a mother of five, tells TIME that on Sept. 5, 1998--a year to the day after Teresa died--she was writhing in pain from an abdominal tumor at a home run by the Missionaries of Charity. "There was no way any doctor would have operated on me at that hour," she says. "So the nuns just started praying and kept a Mother Teresa medallion on my stomach. The pain subsided, and the tumor vanished." Episcopal Bishop Salvatore Lobo, head of a team that will deliver 35,000 pages of Teresa's good deeds to the Vatican, says, "This miracle meets the requirements. It is organic, permanent, immediate and intercessionary in nature." A second miracle is still required for sainthood.
--Reported by Subir Bhaumik and Dev Nayak/Calcutta