Mother Teresa to Be Canonized Sept. 4 in Rome
Pope Francis signed a decree this morning confirming the canonization of the Albanian-born religious at a consistory on several causes of canonization.
Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta will be canonized in Rome on Sunday, Sept. 4, the Vatican confirmed today.
Pope Francis signed a decree this morning confirming the canonization of the Albanian-born religious at a consistory on several causes of canonization. The announcement ended the speculation that Blessed Teresa might be canonized in India.
Last year, theologians and medical experts ruled that the healing in 2008 of a Brazilian man with a brain tumor was inexplicable and owed to Blessed Mother Teresa’s intercession. A miracle is usually required to have taken place since a candidate’s beatification for him or her to be declared a saint.
Mother Teresa of Kolkata, born Anjeze Gonxhe Bojaxhiu, (Skopje 1910-Kolkata 1997), was beatified by Pope John Paul II on Oct. 19, 2003. She founded the Missionaries of Charity in 1950 to give “wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor.”
Earlier this month, four Missionaries of Charity sisters were killed by terrorists in Yemen. Pope Francis called Sister Anselm, Sister Reginette, Sister Marguerite and Sister Judith “today’s martyrs” who won't draw headlines on the front pages of newspapers. “May Mother Teresa accompany her daughters, who are martyrs of charity, to heaven and intercede for peace and the sacred respect for human life,” he said.
In a March 14 interview in La Stampa newspaper, the author of the 1992 best-selling and authorized biography Mother Teresa, said the greatly-admired “angel of the slums” made him a “different person.” Navin Chawla, a Hindu, whose acclaimed biography has been translated for readers in 14 countries, said she helped create a bridge for him between himself and poverty.
“She pushed me to be in contact with the poor around me,” said Chawla, who, as a civil servant, helped deal with 18,000 leprosy cases. “She was able to touch something in me and has done [so] with hundreds of thousands of people [by] setting a good example,” he said.
Chawla, who served as India’s chief election commissioner until 2009, said Blessed Teresa’s soul was “too large to be contained in a single country,” and her legacy continues to expand, especially in India. “The missions in India are growing,” he said. “Volunteers are not decreasing; neither is funding.”
The Pope also issued today decrees for the canonizations of four other causes: Stanislaus of Jesus Maria (nee John Papcziński) and Mary Elizabeth Hesselblad, who will be canonized on Sunday, June 5. The Vatican also announced that José Sánchez del Río Sánchez and José Gabriele del Rosario will both be canonized on Sunday, Oct. 16.
At the age of 14, Blessed Sánchez del Rio was put to death in 1928 by Mexican government officials during the Cristero War because he refused to renounce his Catholic faith. He was one of the characters portrayed in the 2012 film on the Cristero War, For Greater Glory.
Edward Pentin is the Register's Rome correspondent.