With a large tapestry bearing the portrait of the woman known as the "Saint of the Gutters" suspended above him, Pope Francis proclaimed the sainthood of Mother Teresa of Kolkata, hailing her courage and love for people who live in poverty. Despite the formality of the occasion though, "her sanctity is so close to us, so tender and fruitful, that spontaneously we will continue to call her 'Mother Teresa,'" Pope Francis said to applause at the canonization Mass Sept. 4.
The Holy See mission to the U.N. and ADF International, a religious freedom advocacy organization, are sponsoring a two-part celebration of Mother Teresa and her work during the week following her Sept. 4 canonization and in anticipation of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Missionaries of Charity on Sept. 10.
Kolkata, where Mother Teresa lived and worked for more than six decades, is agog with excitement as preparations for the canonization of the world-renowned nun Sept. 4 at the Vatican enter the final stages. News, a film festival, a new web television portal and a special thanksgiving Mass and civic program in October are planned. The celebrations will go beyond Christians, as people of other faiths, who already consider Mother Teresa a saint, take any opportunity to celebrate her and remind the world what she has done.
Twelve sisters from six countries share a common mission in the streets and crime-ridden areas outside San José, Costa Rica — working with homeless people and people who live in poverty, distributing food, helping to provide shelter and offering spiritual support. Through their work, the Misioneras de la Caridad de Madre Teresa de Calcuta (Missionaries of Charity of Mother Teresa of Kolkata) as the congregation's Costa Rican mission is called — help continue the vision of their order's founder, who is being canonized Sept. 4.