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Mother Teresa will be made a “saint” on September 4th, 2016.
Pope Francis has announced that Mother Teresa will be elevated to sainthood on 4 September, months after he approved a second miracle for the late nun and Nobel prize winner who was known as the “Saint of the Gutters”.
The canonisation of Mother Teresa, who was hailed for her work with impoverished and dying people living in the slums of Kolkata, India, has been highly anticipated by supporters, and will be a highlight of the church’s jubilee year of mercy.
More than 300,000 pilgrims went to Rome in 2003 for Teresa’s beatification – the first step towards sainthood.
The Vatican said in a short statement on Friday that the Argentinian pontiff had approved the second miracle – the final hurdle to make her a saint – in which a Brazilian man was said to have been cured of multiple brain tumours in 2008 following the nun’s intercession.
Born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu on 26 August 1910, in Skopje, Macedonia, Teresa joined the Loreto order of nuns in 1928. In 1946, while travelling by train from Kolkata to Darjeeling, she was inspired to found the Missionaries of Charity order.
The order was established four years later and has since opened more than 130 houses worldwide to provide comfort and care for the needy, dying, sick and “poorest of the poor”.
She is revered by many Catholics, but her canonisation is not without controversy. Mother Teresa’s work has been questioned for decades by notable critics, who have alleged that the missionary misused funds intended for charity, and that she was a Catholic fundamentalist more concerned with evangelism than helping the poor access adequate medical treatment.
The negative assessment was underscored by researchers at the University of Montreal and the University of Ottawa, who concluded in a 2013 report that the nun did not deserve the saintly reputation she had acquired over her lifetime due to her “rather dubious way of caring for the sick, her questionable political contacts, her suspicious management of the enormous sums of money she received, and her overly dogmatic views regarding, in particular, abortion, contraception and divorce”.
The researchers found that the vast majority of patients who had come to visit Mother Teresa’s missions for the dying had hoped to find doctors to treat them, but instead found unhygienic conditions, a shortage of care, inadequate food and no painkillers.