Skip to main content

Mother Teresa's Exorcism

Mother Teresa's Exorcism

mother teresa (19101997), winner of the nobel peace prize in 1979, had led such an exemplary life as a nun devoted to healing the poor of india that, shortly after her death on september 5, 1997, pope john paul ii (1920 ) waived the customary five-year-waiting period and began the process to consider her for possible sainthood. on september 5, 2001, on the fourth anniversary of her death, the archbishop of calcutta, henry d'souza, revealed that mother teresa had an exorcism performed on her while she was hospitalized in 1997. because the roman catholic church performs exorcisms only when someone is believed to be possessed by the devil, the world was shocked by such a disclosure.

according to d'souza, shortly before her death at the age of 87, mother teresa was admitted to a hospital because of heart trouble. d'souza happened to be a patient in the same hospital during her stay, and he learned that the nun was having difficulty sleeping. when it was determined that there was no medical reason to account for such problems, it occurred to him that some evil spirit might be trying to disturb her during the night.

with the nun's consent, d'souza arranged for a priest to perform an exorcism as a precautionary measure. mother theresa participated with the priest in a prayer for protection and slept peacefully after the ritual had been completed. not wishing to tarnish mother teresa's sanctity, immediately after he had made the disclosure of her exorcism, d'souza insisted that she had not been satanically possessed, and he was firm in his assertion that the exorcism should in no way affect her candidacy for sainthood.


"archbishop: mother theresa underwent exorcism." 7 september 2001.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Mother Teresa's Exorcism." Gale Encyclopedia of the Unusual and Unexplained. . 22 Jan. 2019 <>.

"Mother Teresa's Exorcism." Gale Encyclopedia of the Unusual and Unexplained. . (January 22, 2019).

"Mother Teresa's Exorcism." Gale Encyclopedia of the Unusual and Unexplained. . Retrieved January 22, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.