As it happened: Mother Teresa is now St. Teresa of Calcutta
As it happened: Mother Teresa is now St. Teresa of Calcutta [Ethics, Prelims]
Even Pope Francis is finding it hard to call Mother Teresa St. Teresa. As the crowd erupted in applause, he said: “So tender and rich that spontaneously we will continue to say Mother Teresa.”
Pope Francis declared Mother Teresa a saint, making her the model of his Jubilee Year of Mercy and in some ways his entire papacy. For Pope Francis, Mother Teresa put into action his ideal for the church to be a merciful “field hospital” for the poorest of the poor both materially and spiritually.
The saint-making process has long been criticised as being expensive, secretive, ripe for abuses and subject to political, financial or theological winds that can push one candidate to sainthood in record time and leave another languishing for centuries.
Pope Francis has also imposed new financial accountability standards on the multimillion-dollar machine after uncovering gross abuses that were subsequently revealed in two books.
Mother Teresa was 18 when she was convinced that her life’s vocation lay in her becoming a missionary in far-off India; Skopje, where she was born on August 26, 1910, was so far removed from Bengal that, barring a few Yugoslav Jesuits who fired her young imagination, no one in the small Catholic community would even have known where India lay.
She had a clear vision of the street and a determination that she often tempered with a sense of humour.