Mother Teresa will be made a saint on Sept 4. Pope Francis set the canonization date Tuesday, paving the way for the nun who cared for the poorest of the poor to become the centerpiece of his yearlong focus on the Catholic Church’s merciful side.
The announcement was expected after Francis in December approved a second miracle attributed to Mother Teresa’s intercession — the final hurdle to make her a saint.
The actual date falls on the eve of the 19th anniversary of her death. In Kolkata, the eastern Indian city where Mother Teresa spent decades caring for the sick and homeless, there were joyous celebrations at a school and orphanage founded by her in 1949.
“The news of Mother’s sainthood is a matter for joy. But Mother Teresa is already like God to us,” said Jyotsna Patra, one of the early students of the school, now in her mid-50s. Archbishop Thomas D’Souza conducted a special Mass on Tuesday, while the nuns of her order, the Missionaries of Charity, held prayers at her tomb. “Mother Teresa’s canonization means that the Mother’s message will become better known,” said Sister Christi, one of the senior nuns at the Kolkata headquarters of the order. (AP)