Vatican City/Kolkata: Mother Teresa will be made a saint on September 4, Pope Francis announced on Wed-nesday, 19 years after the death of the Nobel Laureate who spent 45 years serving the poor and sick on the streets of Kolkata.
Teresa, known as the “saint of the gutters,” founded the Missionaries of Charity and spent 45 years serving the poor, the sick, the orphaned, and the dying on the streets of Kolkata. She died at the age of 87 in 1997. The elevation of Mother Teresa to sainthood came after the Church recognised a second miracle earlier.
Archbishop Thomas D’Souza said that the canonisation is a formality but an important one. “This is the last step that the Pope takes as the cardinal before he signs the decree,” D’Souza said.
The Missionaries of Charity and other Christian associations in Kolkata are planning a big thanksgiving Holy Mass on October 2 at the Netaji Indoor Stadium in Kolkata. Nuns at the Missionaries of Charity said the canonisation in Rome will have a special universal significance be-cause of the Mother’s popularity.
Sister Prema and Archbishop D’Souza will go to Rome to attend the canonisation. Thousands went to Rome in 2003 for Teresa’s beatification –- the first step towards sainthood.
Mother Teresa was born Anjeze Gonxhe Bojaxhiu to Albanian parents in Macedonia in 1910 in what was then part of the Ottoman Empire. After having lived in Macedonia for some 18 years, she moved to Ireland and then to India, where she lived for most of her life. She was granted Indian citizenship in 1951 and received a state funeral after her death.