Georgianna Dolan-Reilly, LMSW

Georgianna Dolan-Reilly, LMSW

Social Justice Solutions | Staff Writer
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Is Mother Teresa’s Image a Myth?

A recent study conducted by Canadian researchers suggests that Mother Teresa’s image as we know it may have been the product of hype.

“The research paper claims that the celebrated nun had 517 missions in 100 countries at the time of her death, but that the majority of patients were not cared for properly and many were left to die, according to the university website. In addition, the Vatican is said to have ignored a doctor’s assertions when it concluded that a Mother Teresa miracle healed a woman who had tuberculosis and an ovarian cyst.

Researchers Carole Senechal of the University of Ottawa and Larivee and Genevieve Chenard from the University of Montreal came to their conclusions by examining 96 percent of the originally researched, published works about Teresa, according to the U of M website. Their findings are to be published in French-language journal Studies in Religion/Sciences.”

It is interesting that the researchers came to the conclusion that Mother Teresa’s image was a myth from this research, because I would come to the conclusion that the system in which Mother Teresa functioned was simply flawed. Individuals often become the figure heads of movements, they become idolized as entirely good, or entirely bad, depending on the vantage point. As a result, such a person becomes the one to blame when that image is tarnished by the system in which they exist or by something they did independently. Often those two cannot be easily separated, as people are a mix of both good and bad. Even the best have their flaws, and perhaps Mother Teresa’s was that she spread herself too thin, becoming the symbol for something that wasn’t manageable as a result.

Written By Georgianna Reilly, LMSW
SJS Staff Writer

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