All Hail New Saint, Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa, revered for her work with the poor in India, has been proclaimed a saint by Pope Francis in a ceremony at the Vatican.

Francis said St Teresa had defended the unborn, sick and abandoned, and had shamed world leaders for the “crimes of poverty they themselves created”.

Tens of thousands of pilgrims attended the canonisation in St Peter’s Square.

Two apparent cures of sick people after Mother Teresa’s death in 1997 have been attributed to her intercession.

In India, a special Mass was celebrated at the Missionaries of Charity, the order she founded in Kolkata (Calcutta).

Cardinal Angelo Amato read a brief biography of Mother Teresa’s work, then asked the Pope to canonise her in the name of the Church.

Pope Francis responded: “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.”

The Pope said Mother Teresa had spent her life “bowing down before those who were spent, left to die on the side of the road, seeing in them their God-given dignity”.

He added: “She made her voice heard before the powers of the world, so that they might recognise their guilt for the crimes of poverty they themselves created.” He then repeated: “The crimes of poverty they themselves created.”

In the Macedonian capital of Skopje, a week after Mother Teresa was made a saint, several hundred people gathered in the city of her birth — the Skopje — for a ceremony and mass in her memory.

Special papal envoy archbishop Vinko Puljic held the outdoor mass in Skopje’s main square, close to the house where Mother Teresa was born.

“Macedonia should be proud… of such a wonderful person,” Puljic told those attending the mass, including nuns from her Missionaries of Charity order, religious dignitaries, top Macedonian officials and foreign diplomats.

Born in 1910 to Kosovan Albanian parents in Skopje — then part of the Ottoman empire — Mother Teresa won the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize and was revered around the world as a beacon for the Christian values of self-sacrifice and charity.

She spent all her adult life in India, first teaching, then tending to the dying poor for decades before her death in 1997 at the age of 87.

Archbishop Puljic also blessed a chapel at Mother Teresa Memorial House, a museum dedicated to her.

Mother Teresa’s canonisation mass in Rome on September 4 was attended by more than 100,000 pilgrims, including heads of state.

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