Mother Teresa elevated to sainthood
MOTHER Teresa, the celebrated nun whose work with the poor of Kolkata in India made her an instantly recognisable global figure, was proclaimed a saint yesterday.
Pope Francis presided over a solemn canonisation mass with a giant haloed portrait of St Teresa smiling down from St Peter’s Basilica.
The sainthood ceremony came one day short of the 19th anniversary of St Teresa’s death, at 87, in the Indian city where she spent her adult life, first teaching, then tending to the dying poor.
It was in the latter role, at the head of her own still-active order, the Missionaries of Charity, that St Teresa became one of the most famous women on the planet.
Born to Kosovar Albanian parents in Skopje – then part of the Ottoman empire, now the capital of Macedonia – she won the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize and was revered around the world as a beacon for the Christian values of selfsacrifice and charity.
She was simultaneously regarded with scorn by secular critics who accused her of being more concerned with evangelism than with improving the lot of the poor.
The debate over the nun’s legacy has continued after her death with researchers uncovering financial irregularities in the running of her Order and evidence mounting of patient neglect and questionable conversions of the vulnerable in her missions. –