The Vatican will venerate Mother Teresa into a Saint, who was known for her tireless service for the poor. Pope Francis has approved the canonization of Mother Teresa, and thousands of her admirers will come to witness the event on September 4.
"Pope Francis today approved Mother Teresa's elevation to sainthood and set September 4 as the date for her canonization," the Vatican told the Mother House, a charity mission in Kolkata, in a message.
In a few months, Mother Teresa will be known as Saint Teresa, who founded Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata in 1950, which was dedicated to serving the poor and sick. She died in 1997, at the age of 87. She was beatified in 2003, which is the first step on the way to sainthood.
The news of Mother Teresa's canonization was received with much excitement.
"We have received an official confirmation from Vatican that Pope Francis has approved Mother's sainthood and set September 4 as the date for her canonization. We are very excited and happy," Sunita Kumar, spokesperson for Missionaries of Charity said.
"We arranged a special afternoon prayer to celebrate the occasion. We were expecting this announcement ever since the second miracle was recognized by the pope in December... The only joy we get it is through prayers. That's our celebration," said another sister from Mother Teresa's mission.
Mother Teresa was the third child of Albanian parents, who ran a grocery store. Her father died when she was eight years old. Upon turning 18, she joined Sisters of Loreto convent and a year later she came to India. She took her vows as a nun in 1931, and was named after Thérèse de Lisieux.
She identified herself as a citizen of the world. In her own words she had said: "By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the Heart of Jesus." Speaking about her calling in the world, she said, "God still loves the world and He sends you and me to be His love and His compassion to the poor."
Apart from Mother Teresa, four other historical figures will be canonized by the Pope:
José Gabriel del Rosario (1840-1914) from Argentina who suffered leprosy throughout his life, and known for his service for the poor and sick; Stanisłaus of Jesus and Mary (1631-1701) of Poland, who founded the Marians of the Immaculate Conception; Maria Elizabeth Hesselblad (1870-1957), a Swedish nurse who converted to Roman Catholicism, and will be the first Swedish saint in over 600 years. She founded a new form of Bridgettines known as Bridgettine Sisters; José Luis Sánchez del Río (1913-1928) was a Mexican Cristero who martyred at the age of 14 by Mexican government when he refused to deny his Catholic faith.