West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who attended Mother Teresa’s canonisation ceremony in the Vatican City on Sunday, said it was a proud moment for both India and Bengal, where she dedicated her entire life to the service of the poor.
“It is a proud thing for Bengal that she belonged and worked for Kolkata. Our missionaries, our charity, all our Fathers, Bishops, Christian brothers and sisters, we have always a good relation with them,” said Mamata.
“It is because of their invitation that we are here, and we are greatly honoured,” she added.
She further said it was an excellently-organised gathering, and all the priests, the bishops, the nuns and the whole community from all over the world present there were just like one family.
Rejoicing her sainthood, Kejriwal said, “It is a very emotional moment for the entire humanity, especially for India.”
“Even though she was from Albania, she made India her home and spent her entire life to serve the poor and the needy,” he told ANI.
“The way she selflessly served the poor by living among them, such examples are very rare in history,” he said.
He added that he was fortunate enough that he once got a chance to work at her Kalighat Ashram for a couple of months in 1992-93.
“She was a great soul and I’m personally very happy that she was granted sainthood,” he said.
Pope Francis declared Mother Teresa a saint at a Sunday morning Mass, making her the model of his Jubilee Year of Mercy.
Mother Teresa, known as the “saint of the gutters” during her life, was made a saint of the Roman Catholic Church, 19 years after her death.
Millions of Catholics revere her as a model of compassion. More than one lakh people attended the ceremony in front of St. Peter’s Basilica.
Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj lead a 12-member delegation to attend the function.
In India, a series of events were held in Kolkata to mark the occasion. A special mass was organised at the Mother House in the city, with nuns promising to celebrate with the poorest of the poor.
Her statue was also unveiled at Seashore St Anthony’s Shrine in Chennai.
Pope Francis had in March announced that Mother Teresa, who spent 45 years serving the poor and sick on the streets in Kolkata, will be elevated to sainthood after the Church recognised two miracles attributed to her after her death.