Pope Francis on Sunday declared revered nun Mother Teresa a saint in a canonisation mass at St Peter’s square in Vatican. Applause erupted in St Peter’s Square in Rome even before Francis finished pronouncing the rite of canonisation at the start of the Sunday morning mass.
The Pope said Mother Teresa put into practice his ideal of the church as a merciful “field hospital” for the spiritually and materially poor.
“For the honour of the Blessed Trinity… we declare and define Blessed Teresa of Calcutta (Kolkata) to be a Saint and we enroll her among the Saints, decreeing that she is to be venerated as such by the whole Church,” the pontiff said in Latin.
As per the visuals shown on TV channels, hundreds of Missionaries of Charity sisters in their trademark blue-trimmed saris had front-row seats at the mass, alongside 1,500 homeless people and 13 heads of state or government, including Queen Sofia of Spain.
The elevation of one of the icons of 20th Century Christianity came a day before the 19th anniversary of her death in Kolkata, where Saint Teresa spent nearly four decades working with the dying and the destitute.
19 years after her death, the “saint of the gutters”, Mother Teresa of Calcutta will be made an official saint of the Roman Catholic Church on Sunday. She will now be called the saint of Calcutta.