Pope Francis said Tuesday that Mother Teresa will become a saint on Sept. 4.
Affectionately known as the “saint of the gutter” for her unconditional love for the poor, abandoned and marginalized, Mother Teresa earned several international honors, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.
She died Sept 5, 1997, 5in Kolkata, formerly Calcutta, the eastern Indian city where she spent decades doing her work. She was 87.
Mother Teresa was beatified in 2003 by Pope John Paul II after a first miracle was attributed to her, answering an Indian woman’s prayers to cure her brain tumor, according to the Vatican. One miracle is needed for beatification — described by the Catholic Church as recognition of a person’s entrance into heaven — while sainthood requires two.
Francis officially cleared Mother Teresa for sainthood on Dec. 17, 2015, recognizing her “miraculous healing” of a Brazilian man with multiple brain abscesses, the Vatican said.
Pope John Paul II put Mother Teresa on the fast track toward sainthood.
Without dispensation from the pope, five years must pass from the time of the candidate’s death before an examination can begin. A bishop is placed in charge of the initial examination of the candidate’s life. Once deemed worthy by the Vatican, the candidate is called a “Servant of God.”
In Mother Teresa’s case, the examination began almost immediately after her death in 1997, the Vatican said.
She was born Agnes GonxhaBojaxhiu of Albanian parents on Aug. 26, 1910, in Skopje, in what is now Macedonia. She joined the Loreto order of nuns in 1928.
In 1946, while traveling by train from Kolkata to Darjeeling, she was inspired to found the Missionaries of Charity order. The order was established four years later and has since opened more than 130 houses worldwide to provide comfort and care for the needy.