- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Vatican on Tuesday announced that Mother Teresa of Calcutta will be canonized, the definitive step on the Catholic Church’s path to sainthood.

Pope Francis said at morning meetings with the cardinals that the ceremony will take place in Rome on Sept. 4, one day before the 19th anniversary of her death.

Mother Teresa was world renowned for her work in the slums of India, for which she won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.

Born in 1910 to Albanian parents, she joined the Irish order of Loreto at age 19 and was sent to India, where she initially taught at a school in Darjeeling.

After moving to Calcutta, India, to help the “poorest of the poor” living in the slums there, she founded the Missionaries of Charity, a sisterhood that today has 19 homes in Calcutta and 4,500 nuns worldwide, who wear her signature blue-trimmed white saris.

Sainthood normally takes decades — sometimes centuries — but, with papal approval, the church set the process into motion just 18 months after her death.

Mother Teresa was beatified in 2003 by St. John Paul II, who recognized her first miracle when an Indian woman was healed after praying to the missionary.

Francis paved the way for her canonization when he recognized her second miracle in December, attributing the healing of a Brazilian man in 2008 to her intercession.

Mother Teresa’s canonization will highlight the pope’s current Holy Year of Mercy and is sure to draw enormous crowd to the Vatican for the ceremony. Crowds estimated at 800,000 attended the canonizations of St. John Paul II and John XXIII at St. Peter’s Square in April of 2014.

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