Mother Teresa, the diminutive Albanian nun whose work to feed the hungry and comfort the dying in India became the foundation of a new religious order and earned her a Nobel Peace Prize, was named a saint on Sunday by Pope Francis. Tens of thousands of Roman Catholic faithful gathered for the ceremony under a cloudless sky and amid tight security. Francis declared Mother Teresa — now to be called Saint Teresa of Kolkata — someone who “taught us to contemplate and adore Jesus every day, and to recognize Him and serve Him as well as to recognize and serve our brothers in need.”
Francis, who has declared 2016 as a Jubilee Year of Mercy, said he shared Mother Teresa’s ideal of a church as a kind of “field hospital” for the souls of the world’s poorest and most desperate.
“It’s so beautiful,” said a crying Sister Anna Maria Mendez, 56, one of the nearly 5,000 members of the Missionaries of Charity religious order Mother Teresa founded in 1950. Mendez was in Saint Peter’s Square in a group of around a dozen fellow nuns, all dressed in the white saris with blue trim Mother Teresa made famous.
“I was moved by Mother Teresa’s works, and moved by this ceremony. It’s so wonderful to see her honored in this way,” she said.
Mother Teresa, the tiny nun who cared for the world’s most unwanted and became an icon of the Catholic Church, was canonised at a ceremony in St Peter’s Square. The nun is claimed to have miraculously cured a woman with a tumour and a man with a brain infection. This paved the way for her sainthood.