Mother Teresa to be canonized Sept. 4

Mother+Teresa+stands+outside+her+Home+for+the+Dying+Destitutes+in+Kolkata%2C+India%2C+on+March+30%2C+1966.+She+will+be+made+a+saint+on+Sept.+4.+Photo+credit%3A+Associated+Press
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Mother Teresa to be canonized Sept. 4

Mother Teresa stands outside her Home for the Dying Destitutes in Kolkata, India, on March 30, 1966. She will be made a saint on Sept. 4. Photo credit: Associated Press

Mother Teresa stands outside her Home for the Dying Destitutes in Kolkata, India, on March 30, 1966. She will be made a saint on Sept. 4. Photo credit: Associated Press

Mother Teresa stands outside her Home for the Dying Destitutes in Kolkata, India, on March 30, 1966. She will be made a saint on Sept. 4. Photo credit: Associated Press

Mother Teresa stands outside her Home for the Dying Destitutes in Kolkata, India, on March 30, 1966. She will be made a saint on Sept. 4. Photo credit: Associated Press

Maya Pescatore

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One of the most beloved and controversial figures in Catholicism will officially become a saint this week.

Widely known for her compassion for the poor and needy, as well as her devotion to God, Mother Teresa’s canonization date is set in order to honor the eve of the anniversary of her death, Sept. 5, 1997.

Born Agnes Bojaxhiu in 1910 in Albania, the future nun showed early signs of loyalty and devotion to Christ from a young age. She even celebrated her birthday on the day of her baptism, Aug. 27.

According to the Associated Press, at the age of 18, Agnes left her family and joined the Sisters of Loreto in hopes of one day becoming a missionary sister. There, she received the name Sister Mary Teresa.

In December 1928, she traveled to India in order to begin her life of service. It was in India that she took her final profession of vows. About 20 years later, she established the Missionaries of Charity in response to a call from Jesus to serve the poor. Her work spread throughout India.

“She built an empire of charity,” said the Rev. Bernardo Cervellera, editor of the Vatican-affiliated missionary news agency AsiaNews.

In her lifetime, Mother Teresa led 4500 Missionaries of Charity sisters, dedicated 69 years to service and won 124 awards. Mother Teresa also won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, three years after she visited New Orleans.

“She didn’t have a plan to conquer the world. Her idea was to be obedient to God,” Cervellera told the Associated Press.

Mother Teresa’s work continued even after her death in 1997. In 2002, Monica Besra was miraculously cured of a tumor located in her abdomen. A locket with a picture of Mother Teresa was placed on her abdomen, from which a light illuminated from the picture and cured her cancer.

After this miracle was researched and verified by the Vatican, Mother Teresa was beatified in October 2003 by Pope John Paul II. Her second miracle, which was recognized by Pope Francis, was the healing of a Brazilian man’s various brain tumors after his loved ones prayed to her.

Pope Francis declared in March that Mother Teresa would be canonized this year.

In Rome, the entire week of Mother Teresa’s canonization will be spent in celebration. Her religious order, the Missionaries of Charity, will celebrate by providing a feast for the poor.

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