Mother Teresa now a saint after second miracle verified
CATHOLIC nun Mother Teresa became a saint yesterday, after a Vatican panel recognised a second miracle which has been attributed to the late missionary famed for her work with the poor of India's Kolkata city.
The committee of senior clerics that approves elevations to sainthood met at the Vatican yesterday in what was seen as a formality to give the long-awaited green light, less than two decades after her death.
Pope Francis was to sign a decree approving the canonisation of the 1979 Nobel peace prize winner and announced a date and venue for it to take place after the meeting also decided on the sainthood for another four candidates, Spain's ABC newspaper reported.
The canonisation is widely expected to take place on Sept 4, the eve of the anniversary of her 1997 death, for which a celebration of her memory had already been scheduled, Agence France-Presse reported.
The celebration has been billed as part of the Church's Jubilee Year of Mercy, which lasts from Dec 8 last year to Nov 20.
Indian Catholics hope the Argentine pope will travel to India for the canonisation ceremony, especially considering that she wore a blue-bordered white sari as her habit until her death, reported ABC.
But Vatican sources say the Pope has no plan for such a trip and the ceremony is expected to take place in Rome with a thanksgiving ceremony scheduled for the following month in Kolkata.
Known across the world, Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel for her work with the poor, sick, old and lonely in the teeming slums of Kolkata.
The nun is revered by many Catholics but has also been attacked as a "religious imperialist" who attempted to foist her beliefs on an impoverished community in which they had no indigenous roots.
Born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu to Albanian parents in 1910 in what is now Skopje in Macedonia, she arrived in India in 1929, having first spent time with a missionary order in Ireland.
She went on to found the Missionaries of Charity order in 1950 and was granted Indian citizenship a year later.
Last year, she was credited by Vatican experts with inspiring the 2008 recovery of a Brazilian man suffering from multiple brain tumours, thus meeting the Church's standard requirement for sainthood of having been involved in two certifiable miracles.
She was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2003 after the Vatican fast-tracked the process of recognising a claim that she had posthumously inspired the 1998 healing of a Bengali tribal woman.
India granted her a state funeral after her death and her grave in the order's headquarters in Kolkata has since become a pilgrimage site.