Mother Teresa To Become Saint, Pope Francis Says

Mother Teresa officially takes her place as a saint this coming fall, according to Pope Francis.

In a meeting earlier today with leaders of the Roman Catholic church, the Pope made his initiation announcement. He decided to induct the nun into sainthood on the anniversary of her passing, September 5, 2016, almost 20 years after her death.

A report from 12News states that the Pope first met Mother Teresa while he was just an Archbishop of the church. He remembers her with fond humor.

“I would have been afraid to have had her as my superior, since she was so tough.”

Pope Francis admired her tenacity and bravery, particularly when standing up for the black sheep of society.

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

Rev. Kolodiejchuk stood as a representative of a congregation founded by the saint-to-be, Missionaries of Charity, at the Pope’s announcement.

“With her canonization, the Church presents her as a model and intercessor of those who, like her, ‘long to light the fire of love and peace throughout the world … May we all continue to live and deepen our awareness of being in need of mercy and our willingness to extend mercy in our communities, in our families and in our service of the poor.”

According to ABC News, the decision to declare Mother Teresa a saint came after Pope Francis officially acknowledged a second healing miracle that she performed involving a man with many tumors. The man recovered after the nun’s death while he and his family prayed to Mother Teresa.

Before his death, Pope John Paul II formally recognized her acceptance into heaven and the first miracle she performed.

Years ago, the church required a five-year waiting period following a person’s death to begin the process of presenting them as a candidate for sainthood. However, before Pope John Paul II died, he eliminated that waiting period and took the first steps to canonizing Mother Teresa just two years after her death. The second-miracle recognition by Pope Francis completed the process.

Despite her unwavering commitment and devotion to her work and the church, many people criticized her for mingling with dictators, and especially for accepting money from them to help support the growing masses of people in need of charity.

Mother Teresa and her family hail from Albania. On Aug. 26, 1910, her parents welcomed her into the world and christened her Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu. It wasn’t until she joined the Irish order of Loreto at almost 20-years-old that she received the name Sister Mary Teresa.

Later, she moved on to St. Mary’s School for Girls, where she taught classes until she took her last vows of the sisterhood and became Mother Teresa.

According to her biography from the Vatican, the saint-to-be said she felt that Jesus was calling to her to start her path of caregiving and assisting people far below poverty lines. She bathed those with injuries, tended to the needs of others who were ill, and she prayed with, and gave comfort to, people on their deathbeds.

Throughout her time caring for the poor, some of the girls she taught many years earlier joined her in her mission.

Mother Teresa died in 1997, and by that time, her Missionaries of Charity oversaw several hundred shelters for homeless people and orphaned children, medical clinics, and soup kitchens. They also had means to meet the needs of about 4,000 nuns.

[Photo by Mark Edwards/Keystone Features/Getty Images]