Mariana Flores Melo: From Nun to Saint

Mother Teresa was born in an Albanian town and entered the order of the Sisters of Our Lady of the Loreto in Ireland at the age of 18.

She began as the director of a Catholic college in Calcutta, where the presence of dying people in the streets of the city led her to ask permission to leave the convent and to dedicate herself since 1948 to care for the sick. In 1950 the diocese of Calcutta approved its congregation with the name of Missionaries of Charity. Later the order was recognized as a congregation under the jurisdiction of Rome, the Vatican.

In addition to the three basic vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience to be accepted into the religious community, were to take a fourth vow to serve the poor, whom Mother Teresa describes as incarnations of Christ.

In 1952, she created Calcutta the House of Indigent Dying Nirmal Hriday (Pure Heart). Over the years, she expanded the work to five continents.

In 1979 she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. She modified the protocol by requesting that the dinner for the tribute dinner (about 2,400 euros) be added to the prize (about 73,000 euros) to use it in favor of the poor.

Teresa of Calcutta died in Calcutta on September 5, 1997 of a heart attack at the headquarters of the congregation, leaving Sister Nirmala as successor in charge of the Missionaries.

Pope John Paul II proclaimed her to be blessed on October 19, 2003, to which she felt very united and admired, in the fastest beatification of the modern history of the Church. Three thousand people gathered in different houses that the religious founded by the world and saw in the front row the beatification ceremony, one of the most multitudinous in the history of the Church. The Pope stipulated that the feast of Mother Teresa be celebrated every year on September 5, “day of his ascent to heaven.”

Pope Francis proclaimed her saint on Sunday, September 4, 2016 before thousands of faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

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