Saint Teresa was a mother first for millions of India

Mother Teresa Pope









Mother Teresa, a Catholic nun who devoted her life to helping India’s poor, has been declared a saint in a canonization Mass held by Pope Francis in the Vatican.

Pope Francis delivered the formula for the canonization of the Albanian-born nun — known as the “saint of the gutters” before huge crowds of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City on Sunday morning.

Applause broke out before he completed the formula of canonization, in which he declared “Blessed Teresa of Calcutta to be a saint.”

Speaking in Latin, Francis said that “after due deliberation and frequent prayer for divine assistance, and having sought the counsel of many of our brother bishops, we declare and define Blessed Teresa of Calcutta to be a saint, and we enrol her among the saints, decreeing that she is to be venerated as such by the whole church.”

“We may have some difficulty in calling her ‘Saint’ Teresa,” Pope Francis said. “Her holiness is so near to us, so tender and so fruitful that we continue to spontaneously call her Mother,” he said hailing her as the personification of maternal love.

The founder of the Missionaries of Charity, who brought dignity to the thousands dying on the streets of Calcutta, was honoured at the mid-morning ceremony in front of St Peter’s Basilica, which was attended by the more than 100,000 people.

Mother Teresa is credited with healing an Indian tribal woman from stomach cancer in 1998 and a Brazilian man from a brain infection in 2008.

The canonisation will also be celebrated in Skopje, the capital of modern Macedonia where Mother Teresa was born of Albanian parents in 1910 and became a nun aged 16.

A huge delegation from India, including External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, attended the ceremony. Besides, 15 heads of state were also at the function.

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