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Pope Francis Declares Mother Teresa A Saint In Vatican City Ceremony

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Tens of thousands attend the Holy Mass and canonization of Mother Teresa of Kolkata, on Saint Peter Square in the Vatican, on Sunday.

Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images


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Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images

Tens of thousands attend the Holy Mass and canonization of Mother Teresa of Kolkata, on Saint Peter Square in the Vatican, on Sunday.

Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images

Pope Francis officially declared Mother Teresa a saint before a crowded St. Peter’s Square Sunday morning, 19 years after her death.

Applause broke out from the tens of thousands in attendance even before Pope Francis finished the canonization at the start of Mass.

How The Catholic Church Documented Mother Teresa's 2 Miracles

Globally revered by both Christians and non-Christians for her lifetime of service to the world’s most destitute and sick, most notably in the slums of Calcutta, India, and a number of other countries, Pope Francis described her asan “eloquent witness to God’s closeness to the poorest of the poor.”

His formal declaration marks a highlight for the Pope Francis’ Jubilee Year of Mercy, in which he recognizes the nun as an icon of mercy.

But her declaration of sainthood does not come without questions surrounding her legacy, by critics who believe her fame exceeded her service.

As NPR’s Julie McCarthy previously reported, many hold complex views of her work:

… she’s also been severely criticized, most prominently by the late British writer Christopher Hitchens, who argued that Mother Teresa’s true agenda was to convert the people she helped to Christianity and that her belief in the virtue of a suffering led her to withhold anything but the most rudimentary medical care.

Writer and Calcuttan Ruchir Joshi says it’s not conversions that bother him but Mother Teresa’s failure to use her indisputable clout to go beyond what he calls a self-serving cycle.

Setting controversy aside, what does this formal rite of canonization mean for her title — do we now call her “Saint Teresa?”

Sure enough, Pope Francis clarified in the ceremony that she’ll still be known to many of us as “Mother Teresa.”

Article source: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/09/04/492587157/pope-francis-declares-mother-teresa-a-saint-in-vatican-city-ceremony?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=news



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