Pope Francis named Mother Teresa a saint in a canonization Mass on Sunday, Sept. 4. One hundred thousand tickets were distributed for the monumental event in Vatican City. The worshippers that day included nuns from the Missionaries of Charity, a multitude of cardinals and bishops, leaders of state governments and Queen Sofia of Spain.
Mother Teresa’s commitment to her faith and care toward the poor was truly exceptional. The people of India endured many challenges during her time, including droughts, homelessness and an adherence to a rigid caste system. Mother Teresa began to work on her massive project in order to address these hardships. In 1952, she established a home for the dying called Nirmal Hriday. Nuns would bathe and feed ill people. They additionally provided overall comfort and love to the sick. The Missionaries of Charity, a group also founded by Mother Teresa, constructed its first children’s home, Shishu Bhavan, in 1955. There, orphans were housed, sheltered, fed and given medical attention.
To become a saint, a diocesan bishop must examine the life of the person who passed at least five years after his or her death, and evaluate if the person had divinity and integrity. If it is determined that the person led a life of integrity, the bishop recommends him or her to the pope. If the pope believes that the individual had heroic virtue, he or she will be called venerable. Then a miracle needs to be connected with prayers made to that person after his or her passing. Canonization occurs after a second miracle happens.
Despite her accomplishments, Mother Teresa’s life was subject to widespread controversy. Several people pointed out that the homes for the poor were not clean and that the nuns did not treat their patients well. Hindu groups, such as Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, said that Mother Teresa simply asked Indians to be disciples of Christianity. Because of this, some natives of Kolkata, the city in which Mother Teresa established her renowned groups and aid, believe that she painted their city negatively to the rest of the world.
Despite these accusations, Mother Teresa deserved to be named a saint. Historically, her whole life was a quest for altruism. She was a humanitarian who upheld the traditional values of honor and virtue, an achievement recognized by the pope. It takes commitment to live such a life and someone who is truly remarkable to transform the world like Mother Teresa did. She is worthy of the praise she receives.
Mother Teresa is an inspiration because she is a reminder that selflessness is a wonderful trait to have, a trait seldom shown during times of distress. People may have the tendency to think that hospitality is a flaw since many people are taken advantage of due to their compassion in today’s world. However, this kindness should not be mistaken as a synonym for fragility, but rather for strength. It is admirable that Mother Teresa took it upon herself to practice these qualities and one should always practice generosity for it will have a greater impact on the world around us.