Mother Teresa, a Catholic nun who devoted her life to helping India's poor, has been declared a saint in a canonization Mass held by Pope Francis in the Vatican, on September 4th. According to the Pope, “Mother Teresa put into action his ideal of the church as a merciful field hospital for the poorest of the poor, those suffering both material and spiritual poverty”.
The elevation of one of the icons of 20th Century Christianity came a day before the 19th anniversary of her death in Kolkata, where she spent nearly four decades working with the dying and the destitute.
Mother Teresa, who was accorded with India's highest civilian and humanitarian awards for her work in the slums of Kolkata, was born as Agnes Gonxhe Bojaxhiu on August 26, 1910. She came to India in 1929 as a sister of the Loreto order. In 1946, she received what she described as a "call within a call" to found a new order dedicated to caring for the most unloved and unwanted, the "poorest of the poor”.
During 1950s, she founded the Missionaries of Charity, which went onto become a global order of nuns — identified by their trademark blue-trimmed saris — as well as priests, brothers and lay co-workers. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. She left for heavenly abode in 1997 after a lifetime spent caring for hundreds of thousands of destitute and homeless poor in Kolkata, for which she came to be called the "saint of the gutters." On October 19, 2003, Pope John Paul II had beatified Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
A 12-member Indian delegation led by the Indian External Affairs Minister (EMA) Mrs. Sushma Swaraj and two state government-level delegations from Delhi and West Bengal, led by Chief Ministers Arvind Kejriwal and Mamata Banerjee were in Vatican City to attend the ceremony.