Junno Arocho Esteves and Cindy Wooden | Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY -- With a large tapestry bearing the portrait of the woman known as the "Saint of the Gutters" suspended above him, Pope Francis proclaimed the sainthood of Mother Teresa of Kolkata, hailing her courage and love for the poor.
Despite the formality of the occasion though, "her sanctity is so close to us, so tender and fruitful, that spontaneously we will continue to call her 'Mother Teresa,'" Pope Francis said to applause at the canonization Mass Sept. 4.
TIJUANA, Mexico — The men trudged down the dusty road of an impoverished Tijuana neighborhood. The Sunday morning air was already arid and hot, but the small group was on a mission: They were heading to a tiny neighborhood community center, bearing lemonade, food and prayers for the local families.
The men are members of the Missionaries of Charity Fathers, founded by Blessed Teresa of Kolkata. The Fathers' generalate house has been in Tijuana since 1988.
A favorite motto of Blessed Teresa of Kolkata was: "Do small things with great love."
But the "small things" she did so captivated the world that she was showered with honorary degrees and other awards, almost universally praised by the media and sought out by popes, presidents, philanthropists and other figures of wealth and influence.
VATICAN CITY — When Pope Francis canonizes Blessed Teresa of Kolkata Sept. 4, he won't simply be fulfilling a special duty of his office, he will be honoring a woman he has called "a symbol, an icon for our age."
When talking about the intersection of prayer, mercy, concrete acts of charity and peacemaking, Mother Teresa was Pope Francis' go-to reference.
In one of his early morning homilies in November, Pope Francis spoke about war and about how, by the way they live their lives, many people promote hatred rather than peace and selling weapons rather than sowing love.