Pope Francis Proclaims Mother Teresa a Catholic Saint

Teresa of Calcutta – the 'saint of the gutters' - officially elevated to join the Church's more than 10,000 saints.

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A tapestry depicting Mother Teresa of Calcutta is seen in the facade of Saint Peter's Basilica during a mass, celebrated by Pope Francis, for her canonisation in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican September 4, 2016.
A tapestry depicting Mother Teresa of Calcutta is seen in the facade of Saint Peter's Basilica during a mass, celebrated by Pope Francis, for her canonisation in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican SeCredit: Stefano Rellandini, Reuters

REUTERS - Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church on Sunday, 19 years after her death. 

Thousands of pilgrims in St. Peter's Square applauded as the tiny nun known as the "saint of the gutters" in her lifetime was officially elevated to join the Church's more than 10,000 saints. 

Francis's predecessor Pope John Paul II bent Vatican rules to fast-track Mother Teresa to sainthood - a process which usually does not start until five years after the candidate's death - two years after she died in 1997. 

The nun, who died at the age of 87, became an international icon but has also been criticised for trying to convert people to Christianity.

Beatification requires one miracle and is the last step before sainthood, which requires a second.

The church defines saints as those believed to have been holy enough during their lives to now be in Heaven with God.

Francis, who has made concern for the poor a major plank of his papacy, was keen to make Mother Teresa a saint during the church's current Holy Year.

Indian Christians and nuns gather to pay their respects by a portrait of Mother Teresa in Siliguri on September 4, 2016.
Pope Francis on September 4 proclaimed Mother Teresa a saint, hailing her work with the destitute of Kolkata as a beacon for mankind and testimony of God's compassion for the poor. The revered nun's elevation to Roman Catholicism's celestial pantheon came in a canonisation mass in St Peter's square presided over by Pope Francis in the presence of 100,000 pilgrims.
Swiss Guards stand in front of a tapestry depicting Mother Teresa of Calcutta before a mass, celebrated by Pope Francis, for her canonisation in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican September 4, 2016.
A man holds an icona of Mother Teresa of Kolkata as he arrives for the holy mass and Canonisation of the nun, on St. Peter square in the Vatican, on September 4, 2016.
Mother Teresa, the celebrated nun whose work with the poor of Kolkata made her an instantly recognisable global figure, will be proclaimed a saint on September 4, 2016. 
Pope Francis will preside over a solemn canonisation mass in the presence of 100,000 pilgrims and with a giant haloed portrait of Teresa smiling down from St Peter's Basilica.
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Indian Christians and nuns gather to pay their respects by a portrait of Mother Teresa in Siliguri on September 4, 2016.Credit: Diptendu Dutta, AFP
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Swiss Guards stand in front of a tapestry depicting Mother Teresa of Calcutta before a mass, celebrated by Pope Francis, for her canonisation in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican September 4, 2016. Credit: Stefano Rellandini, Reuters
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A man holds an icona of Mother Teresa of Kolkata as he arrives for the holy mass and Canonisation of the nun, on St. Peter square in the Vatican, on September 4, 2016.Credit: Andreas Solaro, AFP

Church officials say Mother Teresa's second miracle involved the healing of a Brazilian man suffering from a viral brain infection that resulted in multiple abscesses with hydrocephalus.

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