Mother Theresa could be beatified as early as the end of this year according to Vatican sources. The prelates who make up the Congregation for the Causes of Saints will meet in Rome in October where they will consider approval for two decrees as the last steps towards beatification. One decree recognises that Mother Theresa lived a life of 'heroic virtue', the other recognises the validity of a miracle attributed to her intercession. If both are approved in two months time, together they will fulfil the requirements for beatification and the world renowned nun could be beatified late this year or early next. The formal process leading to sainthood normally does not begin until five years after the candidate's death. In Mother Theresa's case the inquiry began shortly after her death when Pope John Paul II authorised a special exception because of the worldwide recognition of her sanctity. Now all that stands between the late nun and beatification at this stage is the formal approval of the cardinals who make up the Congregation and the assent of the Pope.