At a dedicated mass in Saint Peter’s Square, Rome today, Pope Francis announced that the Catholic Chruch has ordained Mother Teresa as “Saint Teresa of Calcutta.”
Pope Francis said:
“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.
“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, the crimes of poverty they themselves created.”
Teresa, died 1997 aged 69, was born in Skopje (modern Republic of Macedonia), then part of the Kosovo Vilayet in the Ottoman Empire. After having lived in Macedonia for eighteen years, she moved to Ireland and then to India, where she lived for most of her life.
Saint Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic religious congregation, which in 2012 consisted of over 4,500 sisters and was active in 133 countries. They 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. Members must adhere to the vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience, as well as a fourth vow, to give “wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor”.