Mother Teresa canonization LIVE: Pope Francis declares Saint Teresa of Calcutta

Mother Teresa has been declared Saint Teresa of Calcutta by Pope Francis later today. Here are the highlights of the canonization ceremony held in Vatican City.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: September 4, 2016 3:12 pm
Mother Teresa, Nobel Prize Winner Mother Teresa, Mother Teresa heritage, Mother Teresa belongings, Macedonia, Albania, West Bengal News, India news, latest news Mother Teresa has been declared Saint Teresa of Calcutta on September 4, the eve of her death anniversary by Pope Francis at Vatican City. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Mother Teresa has been declared a saint by Pope Francis on Sunday at a canonisation ceremony held in Vatican City. The canonization on September 4 comes on the eve of her 19th death anniversary. She will now be known as Saint Teresa of Calcutta. The canonization ceremony began at 2 pm IST and was followed by an Eucharistic celebration.

A 12-member central delegation led by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and two state government-level delegations from Delhi and West Bengal, led by Chief Ministers Arvind Kejriwal and Mamata Banerjee were in Vatican City to attend the ceremony.

Mother Teresa died on September 5, 1997. On October 19, 2003, Pope John Paul II beatified Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

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External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj at the canonization ceremony.

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Sisters of the missionaries of charity watch the canonization proceedings at Mother’s House, Kolkata.

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Pope Francis blesses with an incense burner as he leads a mass post the the canonisation of Mother Teresa of Calcutta in Saint Peter’s Square at the Vatican. Reuters

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A view of the thousands of pilgrims gathered at St Peter’s Square in Vatican City for the canonization ceremony of Saint Teresa of Calcutta.

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This concludes the canonization ceremony of Mother Teresa. Pope Francis will now lead the congregation gathered at St Peter’s Square into an Eucharistic celebration.

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The relic of Mother Teresa – ‘I Thirst’

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It’s official. Pope Francis has declared Mother Teresa as Saint Teresa of Calcutta.

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Once the Litany of Saints is complete, the Pope will read the Formula of Canonization in Latin, ending with the trinitarian blessing “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”. This is the moment Mother Teresa will be declared a Saint.

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Pope Francis invokes the Almighty before the Litany of the Saints is recited.

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Here is another view of the ceremony currently underway at St Peter’s Square, Vatican City. Pope Francis will soon declare her Saint Teresa of Calcutta.

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The Prefect of the Congregation for Causes of Saints, Cardinal Angelo Amato is now addressing Pope Francis and briefing him with a short bio of Mother Teresa.

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The Canonization ceremony of Mother Teresa has begun

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Missionaries of Charity Fr. Brian Kolodiejchuk, the postulator for her cause for Sainthood, had this to say about Mother Teresa,

In an interview to Vatican Radio, he said: “She disguised the profundity of her holiness by the exterior simplicity of her life and of her words, even… She was a very gifted humanly speaking. She was intelligent, very practical, a born teacher, organizer… she sang, had a beautiful voice; she played the instrument, she wrote poetry. She had many gifts.” He added that Mother Teresa expected the four thousand sisters who now make up the order to be devoted to Jesus and to live a life of simplicity.

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‘A saint doesn’t belong to one religion’

A statue of Mother Teresa’s was unveiled at St. Anthony’s Shrine in Chennai ahead of the canonization of the Nobel peace laureate.

Archbishop Dr AM Chinnapa expressed happiness and said the entire humanity will take pride in the recognition being accorded to Mother Teresa for her service to humanity.

“Mother Teresa’s statue is being installed here to celebrate her sainthood… she thought it was a call from Lord Jesus to take care of the people. A saint doesn’t belong to one religion, a saint belongs to humanity, belongs to everyone,” he added.

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Rare pictures of Mother Teresa from the Indian Express archive. Click here to view them:

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What does the canonization cost? Who bears it?

The actual cost is not known. However, Pope Francis recently approved new regulations to make sainthood causes more financially transparent after Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi claimed that “to simply open a cause for beatification costs 50,000 euros, supplemented by the 15,000 euros in actual operating costs”.

Sources claimed the cost of Mother Teresa’s canonization has been less than Rs 50 lakh. Father Joseph Chinnayyan, Deputy Secretary General and Director of the CBCI Centre, said the cost includes remuneration for officials going through the documents. “For every request, a minimum of 5 people work for 3-5 years… The cost also includes travel expenses etc. Sometimes it takes years, for Alphonsa, the saint from Kerala, it took 20 years.” Read more here:

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President Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy presenting the Bharat Ratna to Mother Teresa at Rashtrapati Bhawan, New Delhi. Express Archive Photo/S Paul

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An Indian pilgrim at St Peter’s Square where the canonization ceremony of Mother Teresa is set to begin. (AP Photo)

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Homeless will be guests of honour at Canonization event

The homeless, most of who live in shelters run by Mother Teresa’s Sisters of Charity order, arrived in Rome overnight on buses from across Italy to take part in Sunday’s Mass. They’re getting seats of honor for the celebration and will then be served lunch in the lobby of the Vatican auditorium. A Neapolitan pizza maker brought 20 people and three pizza ovens to cook the lunch, which will be served to the guests by some 250 sisters and priests of the Sisters of Charity order. – AP

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Archbishop of Delhi Anil Couto shares memories of his meetings with Mother Teresa

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Mother Teresa was an epitome of grace, compassion: Sonia Gandhi

Congress President Sonia Gandhi hailed the canonisation of Mother Teresa saying it was a recognition of her service to the poorest of poor, the dying and destitute.

Describing the life of Mother Teresa as “an epitome of grace, compassion and love”, Sonia said that “her saintly life will forever inspire humanity to commit to the cause of those who have no voice, no community, no home, no care and no love.”

The Congress chief was to attend the event in Rome but had to cancel as she is recovering from an injury she suffered during a rally in Varanasi.

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What is going to happen to Mother Teresa at the Vatican on Sunday?

At 10.30 am on September 4 — 2 pm in India — at a special Mass in St Peter’s Square, Vatican City, Pope Francis will declare Mother Teresa a saint of the Roman Catholic Church. The Prefect of the Congregation for Causes of Saints, Cardinal Angelo Amato, and postulator of Mother Teresa’s case for sainthood, Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, M C, will ask the Pope that the name of the Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta be written in the Book of Saints. Read more here:

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At least thirty five bishops from India are at the canonization ceremony in Rome. A total of 1,00,000 passes have been distributed for the public. At St Peter’s square, several Indian flags are flying high. The ceremony is expected to begin at around 2 pm IST.

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How is one declared a saint?

The process to find a new saint usually begins in the diocese where he or she lived or died; in Mother Teresa’s case, Kolkata. A postulator _ essentially the cheerleader spearheading the project _ gathers testimony and documentation and presents the case to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints. If the congregation’s experts agree the candidate lived a virtuous life, the case is forwarded to the pope, who signs a decree attesting to the candidate’s ‘heroic virtues.’

If the postulator finds someone was healed after praying for the candidate’s intercession, and if the cure cannot be medically explained, the case is presented to the congregation as the possible miracle needed for beatification, the first major hurdle in the saint-making process. Panels of doctors, theologians, bishops and cardinals must certify that the cure was instantaneous, complete and lasting _ and was due to the intercession of the saintly candidate. If convinced, the congregation sends the case to the pope, who signs a decree saying the candidate can be beatified. A second miracle is needed for the person to be declared a saint. – AP

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Security at Vatican City

With more than 100,000 people expected to jam St. Peter’s Square, including at least 13 heads of state or government, security is an obvious concern given that the Islamic State group has said Rome is their ultimate target as the seat of Christianity.

For months now, police have closed to traffic the main boulevard leading to the Vatican. In anticipation of the throngs expected Sunday, Rome police have added an extra 1,000 officers, many of them anti-terrorism teams, to a law enforcement force that has already been beefed up by 2,000 for the Jubilee year.

The security plan calls for the area around St. Peter’s to be divided into three areas with reinforced controls starting Saturday night and lasting through Sunday. The airspace over the Vatican and surrounding areas will be closed. – AP

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Matter of great pride for India, says Jayalalithaa

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa said the canonisation of Mother Teresa is a matter of great pride to the nation and she always draws sustenance for public service from her life and works.

“It is a matter of great pride for India that Mother Teresa, Bharat Ratna, Nobel Peace Prize awardee and the founder of Missionaries of Charity, set up with a mission of serving the poorest of the poor, will be canonised and finally known to the world as Saint Teresa after the ceremony to be held in the Vatican on September 4”, she said in a statement.

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Indians at the canonization ceremony in Vatican City.

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In this Express Archive photo, Mother Teresa with former Prime Minister Atal Bihar Vajpayee at his residence in the national capital, 1996.

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A song for Mother Teresa

Gautam Lewis, who was rescued by Mother Teresa when he was abandoned as a child suffering from polio, is all set to release a song, ‘Mora Gaang’, dedicated to Mother, in 220 countries. Its lyrics, “Oh, beautiful sky, Oh mother, hold me up, let me fly”, depict how his life changed after the Missionaries of Charity took him under their wing. Lewis will also be putting up an exhibition of photographs titled ‘Mother Teresa and Me’.

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Mother Teresa, born to Kosovar Albanian parents in Skopje – then part of the Ottoman empire, now the capital of Macedonia – won the 1979 Nobel peace prize and was revered around the world as a beacon for the Christian values of self-sacrifice and charity.

In this image, a sand scupture of Mother Teresa at Puri beach, Odisha.

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Tens of thousands have begun gathering at the Basilica of St Peter where Pope Francis will lead the canonization process beginning with an Eucharistic celebration. Here is the portrait of Mother Teresa as described below.

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At the Vatican, a portrait of Mother Teresa is displayed on the facade of St. Peter’s Basilica. Mother Teresa is shown in her signature blue-trimmed white sari. The portrait was commissioned by the Knights of Columbus and painted by American artist Chas Fagan, The New York Times reports.

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For those in Kolkata who want to watch the ceremony LIVE, the government has put up screens in different parts of the city to telecast the canonization. Authorities of the West Bengal Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (HIDCO), which had established the ‘Mother’s Wax Museum’, said screens will also be set up across New Town.

“A documentary depicting the life of Mother Teresa and her work across the world for the poor and downtrodden will also be screened,” said an official.

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You can watch the canonization of Mother Teresa LIVE here. The ceremony is expected to begin at around 2 pm India time.

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A portrait of Mother Teresa is carried in the crowd during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

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Ahead of the canonization ceremony, Pope Francis denounced what he called the modern-day sin of indifference to hunger, exploitation and other suffering, while commending the example of Mother Teresa, the nun who cared for India’s destitute.

Choosing “to not see hunger, disease, exploited persons, this is a grave sin. It’s also a modern sin, a sin of today,” Francis told thousands of lay volunteers in St Peter’s Square at a special gathering to stress the need for more mercy and caring in the world.

“Tomorrow, we’ll have the joy of seeing Mother Teresa proclaimed a saint,” he said. “She deserves it!”

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The Catholic Bishop Conference of India thanks PM Modi for his praise of Mother Teresa. Watch the video below:

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A Muslim man helps keep Mother Teresa alive through a unique souvenir shop

What began as a small side business, has now become the focal point of Islam’s life. Owing to his proximity to Mother House and his growing popularity as someone who sold rosaries, people would ask for various keepsakes of the Mother, which gave him the idea of incorporating Mother Teresa’s photos in his work — a move that defined his future path. Over the years, he made the transition to a Mother’s souvenir shop. Today, he is rosary specialist – designing them and customising them to meet the varied demands. Read more here:

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President Pranab Mukherjee called Mother Teresa a ‘messiah’ of the poor and a pillar of support for the weak as he said every Indian will take pride on her canonisation on Sunday. Mukherjee said Mother Teresa was an embodiment of compassion.

“She dedicated her entire life to serving the poorest of the poor as well as the destitute and forsaken. Mother Teresa saw herself as ‘small pencil in the hands of the Lord’ and went about her work quietly, offering smiles and warm human gestures,” he added.

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