The Latest: Macedonia holds ceremony in St Teresa’s hometown

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Latest on the canonization of Mother Teresa (all times local):

3:50 p.m.

While top Macedonian officials attended St. Teresa’s canonization Mass at the Vatican, a modest ceremony was held at a small chapel in her hometown of Skopje.

About 50 people gathered at the chapel in the Mother Teresa Memorial house to express “gratitude and joy” for her sainthood.

Speaking in front of a large picture of the nun, Rev. Marijan Ristov said that Teresa dedicated her whole life to “God and human sufferings.”

Snezana Hristrovska, 66 told The Associated Press that she brought her two young nephews to visit the memorial house and told them that is “proud to be Macedonian” today because of Teresa.

She said that “born in Skopje, she will be an inspiration for me and many other generations that will come.”


12:40 p.m.

Even Pope Francis is finding it hard to call Mother Teresa “St. Teresa.”

Deviating from his homily Sunday, Francis acknowledged it’ll be hard for admirers to make the switch since Mother Teresa’s saintliness is “so close to us.”

As the crowd erupted in applause, he said: “So tender and rich that spontaneously we will continue to say Mother Teresa.”


12:30 p.m.

Some members of Mother Teresa’s lay branch have marked her canonization by retracing the train ride she took to Darjeeling when she was inspired to found a new religious order.

The Sept. 10, 1946 journey is celebrated as “Inspiration Day” for the Missionaries of Charity, the day when Mother Teresa says she received a “call within the call” from Jesus.

The Press Trust of India reports that some lay workers of the Missionaries of Charity took an 8-kilometer (5-mile) train ride on a tourist train in the Darjeeling hills in West Bengal state.

The Rev. Peter Lingdam, head of the lay branch’s Darjeeling branch, told the Press Trust of India: “We wished to experience what Mother Teresa must have felt during that time.” He said that during the journey “her life’s course changed forever.”


11:30 a.m.

Pope Francis has praised Mother Teresa as the merciful saint who defended the lives of the unborn, sick and abandoned — and who shamed world leaders for the “crimes of poverty they themselves created.”

Francis held St. Teresa up as a model for today’s Christians during his homily for the nun who cared for the “poorest of the poor.”

Speaking from the steps of St. Peter’s Basilica, Francis said St. Teresa spent her life “bowing down before those who were spent, left to die on the side of the road, seeing in them their God-given dignity.”

He added: “She made her voice heard before the powers of the world, so that they might recognize their guilt for the crimes of poverty they themselves created.” As if to emphasize the point, Francis repeated the “the crimes of poverty they themselves created.”


11:20 a.m.

Hundreds of people inside the headquarters of the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata clapped with joy as Mother Teresa was declared a saint by Pope Francis.

They congregated around Mother’s tomb, which was decorated with a single lighted candle, flowers and a photo of the tiny saint. A caption on the tomb read “Saint Teresa of Calcutta. Pray for Us.”

Sanjay Sarkar, a local high school student, said it was a special day for the city.

He said: “Mother Teresa belonged to Kolkata and she has been declared a saint. I am so proud to be from Kolkata.”


This item has been corrected to show the correct spelling of the student’s name is Sanjay Sarkar and that he is male.


10:45 a.m.

Pope Francis has declared Mother Teresa a saint, honoring the tiny nun who cared for the world’s most destitute as an icon for a Catholic Church that goes to the peripheries to find poor, wounded souls.

Applause erupted in St. Peter’s Square even before Francis finished pronouncing the rite of canonization at the start of the Mass in St. Peter’s Square.

For Francis, Mother Teresa put into action his ideal of the church as a merciful “field hospital” for the poorest of the poor, those suffering both material and spiritual poverty.

Hundreds of Missionaries of Charity sisters in their trademark blue-trimmed white saris had front-row seats at the Mass, alongside 1,500 homeless people and 13 heads of state or government and even royalty: Queen Sofia of Spain.


This item has been corrected to say Queen Sofia of Spain is not a head of state or government.


9:20 a.m.

The canonization Mass will begin with hymns and proceed almost immediately to the rite of canonization: the declaration that Mother Teresa is now a saint.

Cardinal Angelo Amato, the head of the Vatican’s saint-making office, will read a brief biography of Mother Teresa and ask Pope Francis in the name of the church to canonize her.

Francis will then respond: “After due deliberation and frequent prayer for divine assistance, and having sought the counsel of many of our brother bishops, we declare and define Blessed Teresa of Calcutta to be a saint and we enroll her among the saints, decreeing that she is to be venerated as such by the whole church.”


8:25 a.m.

Pope Francis is following in the footsteps of Mother Teresa by offering some 1,500 homeless people a pizza lunch at the Vatican after her canonization Mass.

The homeless, most of who live in shelters run by Mother Teresa’s Sisters of Charity order, came to Rome overnight on buses from across Italy to take part in Sunday’s Mass. They’re getting seats of honor for the celebration and will then be served lunch in the lobby of the Vatican auditorium.

A Neapolitan pizza maker brought 20 people and three pizza ovens to cook the lunch, which will be served to the guests by some 250 sisters and priests of the Sisters of Charity order.


7:20 a.m.

Thousands of pilgrims are thronging to St. Peter’s Square for the canonization of Mother Teresa, the tiny nun who cared for the world’s most unwanted and became the icon of a Catholic Church that goes to the peripheries to find lost, wounded souls.

Pope Francis is declaring Mother Teresa a saint at a Sunday morning Mass, making her the model of his Jubilee Year of Mercy and in some ways his entire papacy. For Francis, Mother Teresa put into action his ideal for the church to be a merciful “field hospital” for the poorest of the poor — both materially and spiritually.

Throughout the night, pilgrims prayed at vigils in area churches and flocked before dawn to the Vatican under heavy security to try to get a good spot for the Mass that was expected to draw more than 100,000 people.

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