19 Years After, Mother Teresa To Become Catholic Saint

Mother Teresa is regarded by many as one of the most iconic figures of the 20th century
Mother Teresa is regarded by many as one of the most iconic figures of the 20th century

Nobel Laureate, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, one of the most iconic figures of the 20th century, will be declared a saint by the Catholic Church on Sunday, September 4, in the Vatican, by Pope Francis.

Brian Kolodiejchuk, a Canadian priest who promoted her sainthood cause, said this on Thursday, adding that hundreds of thousands of faithful are expected to attend the canonization mass at Saint Peter’s Basilica.

He said that her canonization is one of the highlights of Pope Francis’ Jubilee of Mercy.

“Affectionately called the “saint of the gutters” during her lifetime, Mother Teresa of Calcutta will be made an official saint of the Roman Catholic Church on Sunday, just 19 years after her death,” Kolodiejchuk said.

“The Church defines saints as those believed to have been holy enough during their lives to now be in Heaven and able to intercede with God to perform miracles.

The priest said that Mother Teresa has been credited with two miracles, both involving the healing of sick people.”

Kolodiejchuk said that Mother Teresa was one of the most influential women in the Church’s 2,000-year history, acclaimed for her work amongst the world’s poorest in the slums of the Indian city now called Kolkata.

Her critics, however, argue that she did little to alleviate the pain of the terminally ill and nothing to stamp out the root causes of poverty.

But Kolodiejchuk said her detractors missed the point of her mission, arguing that she had created a place to comfort people in their final days rather than establish hospitals.

“We don’t have to prove that saints were perfect, because no one is perfect,” he said.

Several events have been lined up with regards to the canonization, including a prayer vigil on Friday, and an audience with Pope Francis in St Peter’s Square on Saturday morning.

Kolodiejchuk said it would be followed in the evening by a veneration of Teresa’s relics in a Roman basilica outside of the Vatican.

“As the canonization falls on the eve of Teresa’s feast day, which marks the anniversary of her death on September 5, 1997, there are expected to be more celebrations and religious serviceson Monday and later on in the week.

Mother Teresa was born Agnese Bojaxhiu to Albanian parents in 1910 in what was then part of the Ottoman Empire, present day Macedonia.



    She became a nun at 16 and moved to India in 1929, creating her mission in 1950 and gained worldwide recognition for her work, including a Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.

    Mother Teresa still has legions of supporters in India, including Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.

    “When such a person is conferred with sainthood, it is natural for Indians to feel proud.

    The Roman Catholic Church has more than 10,000 saints, many of whom had to wait centuries before their canonization.

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