Vatican City [Italy], Sept. 4 (ANI
): Canonization ceremony
of Mother Teresa has begun at St. Peter's Square in Vatican City where she will be declared a 'saint' by Pope Francis.
Mother Teresa of Calcutta, known as the "saint of the gutters" during her life, will be made a saint of the Roman Catholic Church, just 19 years after her death.
Millions of Catholics revere her as a model of compassion, and more than 100,000 people are attending the mid-morning ceremony in front of St Peter's Basilica, which is decked out with a canvas of the late nun in her trademark blue-hemmed white robes.
Pilgrims have streamed from all over the world at St. Peter's Square at the Vatican from early morning ahead of a service to honour the Nobel peace laureate, who worked among the world's neediest in the slums of Kolkata.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is leading a 12-member delegation to attend the function.
In India, a series of events are being held in Kolkata to mark the occasion. A special mass is being organised at the Mother House in the city, with nuns promising to celebrate with the poorest of the poor.
Her statue was today unveiled at Seashore St. Anthony's Shrine in Chennai hours ahead of the canonization of the Nobel peace laureate, who dedicated her life to helping the poor.
Bishop Dr A.M. Chinnapa expressed his delight and said the entire humanity will take pride in the recognition being accorded to Mother Teresa for her service to humanity.
"Mother Teresa's statue is being installed here to celebrate her sainthood...she thought it was a call from Lord Jesus to take care of the people. A saint doesn't belong to one religion, a saint belongs to humanity, belongs to everyone," he added.
Director of St. Anthony's church Father John said it is a really big day for not only Christians but for all Indians.
Pope Francis had in March announced that Mother Teresa
, who spent 45 years serving the poor and sick on the streets in Kolkata, will be elevated to sainthood after the Church recognised two miracles attributed to her after her death. (ANI