VATICAN CITY — She was already a saint in the hearts of millions of people around the world, but on Sunday, September 4, Pope Francis formally canonized Mother Teresa of Calcutta, to the applause of tens of thousands of clergy, faithful, and international visitors gathered under a hot Roman sun in St. Peter’s Square.
The video above captures the moment Mother Teresa was canonized.
Catholics and non-Catholics alike often wonder what a canonization is? By the rite of canonization, the Pope elevates a person to the universal veneration of the Church. By canonization the Pope does not make the person a saint. Rather, after a thorough and careful investigation into a person’s life and holiness, he declares that the person is with God and is an example of following Christ worthy of imitation by the faithful. A Mass, Divine Office and other acts of veneration, may now be offered throughout the universal Church.
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
By canonizing some of the faithful, i.e., by solemnly proclaiming that they practiced heroic virtue and lived in fidelity to God’s grace, the Church recognizes the power of the Spirit of holiness within her and sustains the hope of believers by proposing the saints to them as models and intercessors. “The saints have always been the source and origin of renewal in the most difficult moments in the Church’s history.” Indeed, “holiness is the hidden source and infallible measure of her apostolic activity and missionary zeal.”
The Formula of Canonization pronounced by Pope Francis in this video reads:
For the honor of the Blessed Trinity, the exaltation of the Catholic faith and the increase of the Christian life, by the authority of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and our own, after due deliberation and frequent prayer for divine assistance, and having sought the counsel of many of our brother Bishops, we declare and define Blessed Teresa of Calcutta to be a Saint and we enroll her among the Saints, decreeing that she is to be venerated as such by the whole Church. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Mother Teresa’s official liturgical feast day is celebrated on September 5.