ROME—The Vatican announced on Tuesday that Pope Francis will declare Mother Teresa of Kolkata a saint on Sept. 4, one day before the 19th anniversary of her death.
Pope Francis issued the decree setting the date of the late missionary’s canonization at a morning meeting with cardinals in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace. The Vatican later confirmed that the pope would perform the ceremony in Rome.
The event will likely prove a highlight of the current Holy Year of Mercy, which the pope inaugurated at the Vatican on Dec. 8 and which will conclude on Nov. 20. In April 2014, the double canonization of Popes John Paul II and John XXIII in St. Peter’s Square drew an estimated 800,000 pilgrims to Rome.
“The definitive date and place of Mother’s canonization fits in very well with the Jubilee Year of Mercy,” said Archbishop Thomas D’Souza of the archdiocese of Calcutta, an alternative name for Kolkata. “After all, she was the icon of mercy, compassion, love and peace,” he said.
“It would have been a privilege to host the canonization in India, but Mother belonged to the whole world and it is only apt that she will be declared a saint in Rome,” Archbishop D’Souza said. The archbishop added that he would be attending the ceremony in September.