Thousands arrive in Vatican for Mother Teresa’s canonisation
Vatican City, Sep 4 (IANS) Tens of thousands of people flocked to Vatican City’s St Peter’s Square on Sunday to watch Pope Francis declare Mother Teresa a saint.
Pope Francis will celebrate a Mass and Canonisation on Sunday on the eve of Mother Teresa’s 19th death anniversary. She died on September 5, 1997, the BBC reported.
Many pilgrims arrived at the Vatican before dawn on Sunday to get a good spot for the Mass, BBC reported.
Some 1,500 homeless people across Italy were also brought to Rome in buses to be given seats of honour at the celebration – and then a pizza lunch served by 250 nuns and priests of the Sisters of Charity order.
In 2002, the Vatican ruled that an Indian woman’s stomach tumour had been miraculously cured after prayers to Mother Teresa.
Pope Francis cleared the way for sainthood last year when he recognised a second miracle attributed to her.
She died in 1997 – aged 87 – and was beatified in 2003, the first step to sainthood.
She founded the Missionaries of Charity in 1950. The sisterhood now has 4,500 nuns worldwide.
Mother Teresa declared Saint
Vatican City, Sep 4 (IANS) Pope Francis on Sunday declared Mother Teresa of Kolkata a Saint of the Catholic Church in front of thousands of pilgrims at St. Peter’s Square here.
“We declare and define Blessed Teresa of Calcutta to be a Saint,” the Catholic News Agency quoted the Pope as telling the thousands including many Indians who stood holding the Indian flag.
“For the honour of the Blessed Trinity, the exaltation of the Catholic faith and the increase of the Christian life, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and our own, 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,” the Pope said.
Nun to Saint: Mother Teresa timeline
Landmark events in the life of Mother Teresa who was declared a saint by Pope Francis at the Vatican on Sunday:
* 1910: Born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in Skopje, present-day Macedonia, on August 26; Baptised on August 27
* 1922-1923: At age 12, feels first call to religious life
* 1928: Leaves home on Sep 25 to become a Roman Catholic Loreto nun and begins novitiate training in Dublin. Takes the name Sister Teresa
* 1929: Arrives in Kolkata, becomes a teacher at St Mary’s School
* 1931: Takes her first vows as a nun
* 1937: Takes final vows as a nun, becomes known as Mother Teresa
* 1946: On a train to Darjeeling on Sep 10, receives “the call within the call” to serve the poor
* 1948: Starts teaching poor children, opens her first slum school; Shifts to 14, Creek Lane
* 1950: Founds the Missionaries of Charity on Oct 7 with 12 sisters after getting the green signal from the Vatican
* 1951: Receives Indian Citizenship
* 1952: Opens first home for dying at Kalighat in South Kolkata. Names it Nirmal Hriday (Pure Heart)
* 1953: Leaves Creek Lane and shifts to a two-storeyed building on Lower Circular Road; it’s now called Mother House, the global headquarters of the Missionaries of Charity
* 1957: Begins her work with lepers for which her Order becomes well known around the world
* 1962: Receives Padma Shri from the President for her humanitarian work
* 1963: Founds Missionaries of Charity, Brothers
* 1965: Catholic Church grants permission for setting up missions outside India; the first opens that year in Venezuela
* 1971: Receives Pope John XXIII Peace Prize and uses money to build a leper colony
* 1976: Founds Missionaries of Charity, Contemplative Sisters
* 1979: Receives Nobel Peace Prize for work with the destitute and dying
* 1980: Conferred India’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna
* 1982: Rescues 37 mentally disabled children from a hospital in besieged Beirut
* 1983: Visits Pope John Paul II. Hospitalized with heart attack, first of several
* 1984: Founds Missionaries of Charity Fathers
* 1985: Awarded Medal of Freedom, highest US civilian honour
* 1990: Resigns as superior general of the Missionaries of Charity but is re-elected
* 1997: Steps down as head of her order
* 1997: Dies of heart failure in Kolkata on Sep 5, aged 87
* 2003: Beatified by Pope John Paul II — placing her a step from sainthood
* 2016: Declared a saint by Pope Francis on Sep 4