Crowds cheer as late nun is canon­ised

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Pope Fran­cis has de­clared Mother Teresa a saint, honour­ing the nun who cared for the world’s most des­ti­tute and hold­ing her up as a model for the Catholic Church.

Ap­plause erupted in St Peter’s Square yes­ter­day even be­fore Fran­cis fin­ished pro­nounc­ing the rite of canon­i­sa­tion at the start of Mass, ev­i­dence of the ad­mi­ra­tion Mother Teresa en­joyed from Chris­tians and non-Chris­tians alike.

Hundreds of Mis­sion­ar­ies of Char­ity sis­ters in their trade­mark blue-trimmed saris had front-row seats at the Mass, sit­ting un­der a sear­ing hot sun and blue skies along­side 1,500 home­less peo­ple and 13 heads of state or govern­ment, in­clud­ing Queen Sofia of Spain.

While big, the crowds were not as large as the 300,000 who turned out for Mother Teresa’s 2003 be­at­i­fi­ca­tion, thanks in part to se­cu­rity fears in the wake of ex­trem­ist at­tacks in Europe. Those fears prompted a huge, 3,000-strong law en­force­ment pres­ence to se­cure the area around the Vat­i­can and close the airspace above.

In keep­ing with Mother Teresa’s spirit, Fran­cis treated 1,500 home­less peo­ple bussed into Rome for the Mass to a pizza lunch in the Vat­i­can au­di­to­rium af­ter­ward.

Mother Teresa came to In­dia in 1929 founded the Mis­sion­ar­ies of Char­ity in 1950, which went onto be­come a global or­der to care for the “poor­est of the poor”.

She was awarded the No­bel Peace Prize in 1979 and died in 1997.

IDOL: A trib­ute of Mother Teresa

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