Pope Francis on Tuesday said Blessed Mother Teresa of Kolkata will become a saint on Sept. 4.
Affectionately known as the “saint of the gutter” for her unconditional love for the poor, abandoned and marginalized, Mother Teresa earned several international honors, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.
She was beatified in 2003 by Pope John Paul II after being attributed to a first miracle, answering an Indian woman’s prayers to cure her brain tumor, according to the Vatican. One miracle is needed for beatification — described by the Catholic Churchas recognition of a person’s entrance into heaven — while sainthood requires two.
Francis officially cleared Mother Teresa for sainthood on Dec. 17, 2015, recognizing her “miraculous healing” of a Brazilian man with multiple brain abscesses, the Vatican said.
Five years must pass from the time of the candidate’s death before an examination can begin. The pope can dispense with this waiting period. A bishop is placed in charge of the initial examination of the candidate’s life. Once deemed worthy by the Vatican, the candidate is called a “Servant of God.”
In 2003, Pope John Paul II put Mother Teresa on the fast track for possible sainthood by allowing the beautification process to begin just two years after her death.