Vatican City, Oct. 1--(AP) Mother Teresa moved a step closer to beatification Tuesday, when a Vatican committee approved a reported miracle attributed to the late Roman Catholic nun, church officials said.

The Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints committee that handles the process leading to sainthood approved reports that an Indian woman in her 30s was cured of a stomach tumor due to the intercession of Mother Teresa, officials said. "We are very grateful to God for this wonderful grace and we are very joyful,"said Sister Nirmala, head of the order founded by Mother Teresa, the Calcutta, India-based Missionaries of Charity.

Pope John Paul II must still give formal approval, a step not expected before December. After this, a date would be set for her beatification, but this could not take place before the spring, a Vatican official said on condition of anonymity.

After Mother Teresa died in 1997 at age 87, the pope waived the customary five-year waiting period to start the procedures that can lead to sainthood. After beatification, the last formal step before sainthood, a second miracle must occur before someone can be declared a saint.

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