During Sunday mass in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis declared Mother Teresa a saint, in the presence of tens of thousands of pilgrims who attended the canonization, that began with hymns and followed by the rite of canonization.
Pope Francis made Mother Teresa – known for her work among the destitute, particularly in the slums of Calcutta – the model of his Jubilee Year of Mercy.
Among the crowd of thousands was the Missionaries of Charity sisters, in their trademark blue-rimmed saris. Also at the Mass were 1500 homeless people and 13 heads of state or government, including queen Sofia of Spain.
Mother Teresa stepped down from the head of the Missionaries of Charity on March 13, 1997. She died less than 6 months later on September 5, 1997, at the age of 87.
At the time of her death Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity had over 4000 sisters.
Back in India, in a shop in Calcutta, now Kolkata, that sells snacks and rosaries, a Muslim shopkeeper, Tanveer Ahmed, recalled seeing Mother Teresa and other nuns take in a leprosy patient who lay bleeding in the streets while others passed by unmoved. Ahmed said ‘we are fighting with each other, killing each other, but, if you want to see love please look at Mother Teresa. He added “ I believe Mother is next to God”.