As it happened: It’s Saint Teresa, declares Pope Francis at Vatican ceremony
More than a hundred thousand people are expected at Sunday’s canonisation ceremony for Mother Teresa at the Vatican City, marking the culmination of a process described as long, complex, opaque and often contentious.
Pope Francis on Sunday proclaimed Mother Teresa a saint, hailing her work with the destitute of Kolkata as a beacon for mankind and testimony of God’s compassion for the poor.
The revered nun’s elevation to Roman Catholicism’s celestial pantheon came in a canonisation mass in St Peter’s square presided over by Pope Francis in the presence of 100,000 pilgrims.
“For the honour of the Blessed Trinity... we declare and define Blessed Teresa of Calcutta (Kolkata) to be a Saint and we enroll her among the Saints, decreeing that she is to be venerated as such by the whole Church,” the pontiff said in Latin.
Francis said that even though the nun had been declared a saint, she would always be Mother Teresa to the Catholic family.
Below are the highlights:
3:22pm: Bishops attend a mass leaded by Pope Francis for the canonisation of Mother Teresa of Calcutta in Saint Peter’s Square at the Vatican.
3:02pm: Pope Francis (2nd-R) prays as he leads the canonisation of Mother Teresa of Kolkata, on Saint Peter square in the Vatican.
2:55pm: Hundreds of people inside the headquarters of the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata clapped with joy as Mother Teresa was declared a saint by Pope Francis. They congregated around Mother’s tomb, which was decorated with a single lighted candle, flowers and a photo of the tiny saint. A caption on the tomb read “Saint Teresa of Calcutta. Pray for Us.”
2:30pm: In Kolkata, nuns from the Catholic Order of the Missionaries of Charity, watch a live telecast of the canonisation of Mother Teresa.
2:14pm: Pope Francis declares Mother Teresa a saint. “For the honour of the Blessed Trinity... we declare and define Blessed Teresa of Calcutta (Kolkata) to be a Saint and we enroll her among the Saints, decreeing that she is to be venerated as such by the whole Church,” the pontiff said in Latin.
2:10pm: The canonisation Mass began with hymns and proceeded almost immediately to the rite of canonisation.
2:05pm: Queen Sofia of Spain attends the canonisation ceremony by Pope Francis for Mother Teresa, in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican.
2:00pm: Pope Francis leads Mother Teresa’s canonisation mass at St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican City
1:55pm: Mother Tersea’s canonisation ceremony begins at Vatican
1:48pm: Visuals from St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican City
12:25pm: Congress president Sonia Gandhi hailed the canonisation of Mother Teresa saying it was a recognition of her service to the poorest of poor, the dying and destitute. Describing the life of Mother Teresa as “an epitome of grace, compassion and love”, Gandhi said that “her saintly life will forever inspire humanity to commit to the cause of those who have no voice, no community, no home, no care and no love.”
12:05pm: Pope Francis is following in the footsteps of Mother Teresa by offering some 1,500 homeless people a pizza lunch at the Vatican after her canonisation Mass. The homeless, most of who live in shelters run by Mother Teresa’s Sisters of Charity order, came to Rome overnight on buses from across Italy to take part in Sunday’s Mass. They’re getting seats of honour for the celebration and will then be served lunch in the lobby of the Vatican auditorium.
11:45am: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi tweeted on Mother Teresa’s canonisation
11:25am: Sisters of Charity sisters plan to distribute food to the poor nearby after the ceremony, and community meals are being served across Catholic parishes in India .
10:30am: Throughout the night, pilgrims prayed at vigils in area churches and flocked before dawn to the Vatican under heavy security to try to get a good spot for the Mass that was expected to draw more than 100,000 people.
10:15am: At the Mother House in Kolkata , a special mass will be organised and the nuns will celebrate the occasion with the poorest of the poor.
10:00am: Mother Teresa died in 1997 and the late Pope John Paul, who met her often, bent Vatican rules to grant a dispensation allowing the procedure to establish her case for sainthood to be launched two years after her death instead of the usual five.
9:45am: Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj is leading the Indian delegation
9:00am: Pope Francis will lead the ceremony at St Peter’s Square