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Pope Francis canonizes Mother Teresa of Calcutta

2016-09-04

Around 100,000 people filled Saint Peter's Square to attend the most awaited canonization ceremony of the year. 

Some Missionaries of Charity sat in the front rows, accompanied by around 1,500 impoverished men and women sitting in the front rows.

With these words, Pope Francis officially declared the Mother of the poor a saint in the Catholic Church.

"We declare and define Blessed Teresa of Calcutta be saint and we enroll her among the saints.”

Two Missionaries of Charity placed a relic of the new saint on the altar. The base is made of rough and unpolished iron, which is how society sees the poor who Mother Teresa loved so intensely.

The Pope also praised the new saint's work  for the unborn and for the disenfranchised.

POPE FRANCIS
"She was committed to defending life, ceaselessly proclaiming that 'the unborn are the weakest, the smallest, the most vulnerable.' She bowed down before those who were spent, left to die on the side of the road, seeing in them their God-given dignity; she made her voice heard before the powers of this world, so that they might recognize their guilt for the crime of poverty they created.”

He said that Mother Teresa is a model for volunteers and people that do charitable work.

POPE FRANCIS
"May this tireless worker of mercy help us to increasingly understand that our only criterion for action is gratuitous love, free from every ideology and all obligations, offered freely to everyone without distinction of language, culture, race or religion. Mother Teresa loved to say, 'Perhaps I don’t speak their language, but I can smile'”.   

At least two nuns from each mission of the Missionaries of Charity have attended. The rest, about 5.000, have followed the event from their homes. 

Fifteen international delegations have gone to the ceremony, including one from the United States, led by Homeland Security Advisor, Lisa Monaco, and one from Spain, led by the Queen Sofía. 

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