Did Mother Theresa really get an exorcism?

I had recently heard that Mother Theresa had received an exorcism later in life, though I’m unsure about the legitimacy of the source. Did this really happen and if so, what kind of significance does it have?


The word “exorcism” summons all sorts of images for us. I think for most people the movie by that title is the first thing they think of. However, that is not the sole use of the word exorcism. Technically speaking an exorcism is any prayer asking for deliverance from evil. Every time we pray the Our Father we pray words of exorcism: “deliver us from evil.” Before baptism, the priest prayers a prayer of exorcism for those about to be baptized.

Archbishop Henry D’Souza who is the source of this story of Mother Teresa’s “exorcism” has clarified for those whose imaginations were running away with them that Mother Teresa was not possessed. When Mother Teresa was in the hospital she would be quite peaceful and serene throughout the day, but when she tried to sleep she could not and would suffer greatly. Archbishop Henry D’Souza believed that Mother Teresa was being spiritually attacked and asked her if she would like prayers for deliverance from evil said over her. She agreed and after the prayers had no problems sleeping.

Most of us receive “spiritual attacks” through forms of temptation. But since those things are unlikely to work on the truly saintly sometimes they suffer greater spiritual attacks.

So while yes, technically, Mother Teresa received prayers of exorcism it was not nearly as dramatic or graphic as the imagination might draw.

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