Pope Francis has announced that Mother Teresa will be declared a saint on September 4th this year. Also known as Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, Mother Teresa born Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu in Albania dedicated most of her life in helping the impoverished in Calcutta.
The canonization will take place a day before her 19th death anniversary (5th September 1997). The famed Albanian nun and missionary was one of the most high-profile of the five candidates for sainthood considered by the Vatican panel on Tuesday. The Pope had already cleared the way for her sainthood in December last year. Upwards of 300,000 pilgrims had travelled to Rome in 2003 for Teresa’s beatification which is the third step towards possible sainthood.
The canonisation ceremony is likely to take place in Rome with a thanksgiving ceremony in Kolkata a month later, although Indian Catholics have appealed to the Catholic church to have the ceremony in Kolkata instead.
According to the church, saints are believed to have been holy or virtuous during their lifetime to find a place in Heaven. They are recognised as bearing a likeness to God.
Mother Teresa is credited with two miracles, a prerequisite for sainthood. In 2002, the Vatican recognised the miracle healing of a tumor in the abdomen of an Indian woman, Monica Besra, after a locket containing Mother Teresa’s picture was applied. In 17 December 2015, the Vatican confirmed that Pope Francis recognised a second miracle in which a Brazilian man with brain tumours was healed and it was credited to her involvement.
Mother Teresa has been the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, the Padma Shri in 1962 and the Bharat Ratna, in 1980.