During the Canonization Mass for Blessed Mother Teresa, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Cardinal Angelo Amato presented a brief biography of the Church’s newest Saint in the presence of Pope Francis.
Below is an English language translation of the address of Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints
This humble nun, to whom countless numbers of people turn, affectionately calling her “Mother Teresa”, is the Blessed Soul we are presenting to your Holiness today so that, with her wished-for canonization, the whole world may contemplate her, ask her intercession, and imitate her in charitable works.
Throughout her life, following the example of Christ the Good Samaritan, she was always close to anyone she encountered who was in need, sharing in the suffering of those who live on the extreme outskirts of society and witnessing to God’s boundless love for His people.
I would like to present briefly the salient points of her life:
Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta was born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu on August 26th 1910 in Skopje, to a family of Albanian origin. As an adolescent she became ever more active in her parish while her vocation to give herself totally to the Lord grew. Leaving her family, she was received as a Postulant in the convent of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Sisters of Loreto in Rathfarnam, near Dublin.
Sent to Darjeeling, in India, at the end of her novitiate, she made her final profession and took the name of Teresa. She served as a teacher and spent 17 years at Saint Mary’s Bengali Medium School, near Calcutta.
While travelling by train from Calcutta to Darjeeling, she received what she defined as “the call within the call”: an intuition to begin a religious institute that would “satisfy the infinite thirst of Jesus on the Cross for love and for souls by working for the salvation and the sanctification of the poorest of the poor”.
So she founded the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of Charity, to which she later added the Congregation of the Missionaries of Charity Brothers, lay organizations and the Movement open to the diocesan priesthood.
Mother Teresa was tireless, dedicating herself completely to announcing the Gospel through various charitable and aid works to the needy, with no distinction of rank, religion or race. At the heart of all her initiatives she placed the daily celebration of the Holy Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, prayer, and a great spirit of universal love that inspired her to see and serve Jesus in the poor.
Her heroic evangelical witness won the admiration of the highest authorities in the Church and the world. In 1979 she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Physically exhausted, but always strong in spirit, she died peacefully in Calcutta on September 5th 1997, enveloped in an immense, solid and unanimous odour of sanctity.