VATICAN, September 4. /TASS/. Nobel Prize winner, founder of the Order of the Missionaries of Charity, Mother Terresa of Calcutta, will be canonized on Sunday. The ceremony led by Pope Francis will take place in St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City in the presence of numerous pilgrims and government delegations from various countries.
It is particularly symbolic that the canonization of the Albanian nun and founder of the Missionaries of Charity congregation is held at the height of the Jubilee Year of Mercy declared by Pope Francis.
Mother Teresa of Calcutta got this nickname because she dedicated all her life to the service to the needy in India. In 2003, she was proclaimed blessed on the initiative of Pope John Paul II who received her in the Vatican on several occasions and visited her in Calcutta.
A special Vatican commission has recognized the healing of a Brazilian man through Mother Teresa’s prayers as a miracle deeming his recovery "inexplicable in the light of present-day medical knowledge." That was the formal basis for her canonization.
From Balkans to India
Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu was born on August 26, 1910, in the Albanian family in Skopje (Macedonia). At the age of 18, she left home and joined an Irish missionary order spending a year in Dublin’s Abbey where she learned English. She also studied essentials of medicine at Sorbonne. On January 6, 1929, she left for Calcutta. The Order of the Missionaries of Charity founded by her, which initially consisted of 12 nuns, now has 300,000 novices working in 80 countries managing orphanages, clinics for treatment of patients with AIDS and leprosariums.
In 1979, Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and in 1985 she spoke at a session of the UN General Assembly to mark the organization’s 40th anniversary. Mother Teresa provided assistance to the victims of the Chernobyl accident and the Armenian earthquake in Spitak. She died on September 5, 1997, in Calcutta, at the age of 87.
Pope Francis noted that Mother Teresa continued "the revolution of tenderness begun by Jesus Christ."
Security measures have been tightened in the Italian capital due to the ceremony in the Vatican, which is expected to be attended by 100,000 believers. A ban has been imposed on flights over St. Peter’s Square. About 3,000 police officers will be involved in the efforts to ensure public order. All entrances to the square have been blocked for security reasons.