“We declare and define Blessed Teresa of Calcutta to be a saint and we enrol her among the saints, decreeing that she is to be venerated as such by the whole Church”, said Pope Francis.
Pope Francis said Mother Teresa had spent her life “bowing down before those who were spent, left to die on the side of the road, seeing in them their God-given dignity”.
During the declaration ceremony, hundreds of the nuns cramming into St Peter’s Square were wearing the distinctive blue and white robes of the Missionaries of Charity, the order set up by Mother Teresa in Kolkata with 12 followers in 1950.
Pope Francis proclaimed Mother Teresa a saint on Sunday, bestowing the Catholic Church’s highest honor on one of the most widely admired public figures in recent history.
Mother Teresa was widely hailed as a saint even during her lifetime and won many worldly accolades, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.
Pope Francis said St Teresa had defended the unborn, sick and abandoned, and had shamed world leaders for the crimes of poverty they themselves created.
Tens of thousands of pilgrims attended the canonisation in St Peter’s Square.
“She made her voice heard before the powers of the world, so that they might recognise their guilt for the crimes of poverty they themselves created.” He then repeated: “The crimes of poverty they themselves created”, concluded Pope Francis.
Saint Teresa was born to an ethnic Albanian family in what is now Macedonia.