Mother Teresa canonised as Saint by Pope Francis at Vatican

Sep 5, 2016 08:16 IST

Mother TeresaMother Teresa on 4 September 2016 was proclaimed a Saint by Pope Francis in a ceremony at the Vatican.

Thousands of pilgrims attended the canonisation of Mother Teresa in St Peter's Square.

During the ceremony, Pope Francis announced “We declare and define Blessed Teresa of Calcutta to be a saint and we enrol her among the saints, decreeing that she is to be venerated as such by the whole Church."

With this, Mother Teresa became the fourth Indian to be made saint. Those who received the honour before her include Father Kuriakose Elias Chavara, Sister Euphrasia and Sister Alphonsa. Saint Gonsalo Garcia, though of Portuguese parentage, was born in India, and is considered an India born saint.

The process of Cannonisation

Originally, individuals were recognized as saints without any formal process.

Later, different processes, such as those used by the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church were developed.

There are four steps to canonization that the saints have to go through: Servant of God   →   Venerable   →   Blessed   →   Saint

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Beatification of Mother Teresa

After Mother Teresa's death in 1997, the Holy See began the process of beatification, the first step towards possible canonisation. This process required the documentation of a miracle performed from the intercession of Mother Teresa.

In 2002, the Vatican recognised as a miracle the healing of a tumour in the abdomen of an Indian woman, Monica Besra, after the application of a locket containing Mother Teresa's picture. Besra said that a beam of light emanated from the picture, curing the cancerous tumour.

Mother Teresa was beatified on 19 October 2003, becoming known by Catholics as "Blessed."

On 17 December 2015, the Vatican confirmed that Pope Francis had recognised a second miracle attributed to her, involving the healing of a Brazilian man with multiple brain tumours.

About Saint Teresa of Calcutta

Saint Teresa of Calcutta was an Albanian-Indian Roman Catholic nun and missionary.

After having lived in Macedonia for eighteen years, she moved to Ireland and then to India, where she lived for most of her life.

In 1950, Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic religious congregation.

In 2012, the Missionaries of Charity consisted of over 4500 sisters and was active in 133 countries.

The Missionaries of Charity run homes for people dying of HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis, soup kitchens, dispensaries and mobile clinics, children's and family counselling programmes,  orphanages and schools.

In 1962, she won the Ramon Magsaysay Peace Prize.

In 1979, she was honoured with the Nobel Peace Prize.

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