External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday represented India at the canonisation ceremony of Mother Teresa at a mass in St Peter’s square here presided over by Pope Francis in the presence of over 100,000 pilgrims.
Swaraj arrived here earlier along with 12 others that included two state-level delegations from Delhi and West Bengal led by Chief Ministers Arvind Kejriwal and Mamata Banerjee respectively.
Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Lok Sabha MPs Prof K V Thomas, Jose K Mani, Anto Anthony and Conrad K Sangma and Deputy Chief Minister of Goa Francis D’Souza were also part of the delegation.
“Homage to a life spent in service of people. External Affairs Minister @SushmaSwaraj and Indian delegation at canonisation of Mother Teresa,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.
Her canonisation ceremony, that comes a day ahead of her 19th death anniversary, was attended by thousands of pilgrims from all over the world including some 1,500 people looked after by the Italian branches of Teresa’s order, the Missionaries of Charity.
Teresa’s canonisation was announced in March by Pope Francis after the Church recognised two miracles attributed to her after her death in 1997.
Revered for her work with the poor and destitute, Teresa spent nearly four decades of her life in Kolkata.
Born in 1910 to Kosovan Albanian parents in Skopje – then part of the Ottoman empire, now the capital of Macedonia -Teresa had won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.
On Saturday, Swaraj met the Indian diaspora at a reception hosted by India’s Ambassador to Italy Anil Wadhwa.
The External Affairs Minister mentioned welfare efforts for diaspora, assisting Indians in distress and the evacuations the government has conducted, Swarup tweeted.
“I have come here with a delegation from different parts of India, with those of different faiths to pay respects to life of Mother Teresa,” Swaraj had said at the reception.