Archbishop of Armagh Eamon Martin has welcomed the announcement today by Pope Francis that Mother Teresa of Calcutta will be canonised a saint.
The canonisation will take place on Sunday, September 4.
Mother Teresa passed away on September 5, 1997, at the age of 87.
Just the previous June she had travelled to Armagh and spoke at St Patrick’s Cathedral, during a visit to the city for the opening of a community house of her Missionaries of Charity Order, who work with the poor and homeless.
Mother Teresa also met other church leaders during her visit to Armagh, including Cardinal Cahal Daly and the late Church of Ireland Dean, the Very Rev Herbert Cassidy.
Mother Teresa was baptised on August 27, 1910, in Macedonia, and taught in India for 17 years before, in 1946, feeling a call to devote herself to the care of the sick and poor. She was conferred the Nobel Peace Prize for her humanitarian work in 1979. She was beatified in October 2003, six years after her passing.
Archbishop Eamon Martin described as “wonderful news” an announcement that Pope Francis has signed the decree for canonisation today.
The Primate of All-Ireland and Archbishop of Armagh said: “Blessed Mother Teresa is much loved in Ireland having been a frequent visitor to our country during her lifetime.
“At the age of 18, she came to study English and begin her life as a nun with the Loreto Sisters of Dublin. In this Year of Mercy, I am especially conscious and express my profound gratitude to the Missionaries of Charity, the religious congregation founded by Blessed Mother Teresa, for their selfless outreach and ministry serving the homeless and hungry here in the Archdiocese of Armagh.
“I will celebrate Mass tomorrow evening at 7.30pm, on the vigil of our patron Saint Patrick, in Saint Malachy’s Church, Armagh, for Blessed Mother Teresa and for the four sisters of the Missionary of Charity – Sisters Anselm, Margherite, Reginette and Judith – and the 12 people, who were brutally murdered in a home for the elderly in Aden, Yemen, on 4 March.
“Their faith, life and death provide a very strong witness to all Christians at this time.”
Archbishop Eamon concluded: “Tomorrow’s Mass in Saint Malachy’s will be attended by sisters of the Missionaries of Charity living locally, and will be offered for the intentions of the 4,500 worldwide members of the congregation. All are welcome.”