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Pope says St. Teresa shamed world leaders

Pope Francis has praised Mother Teresa as the merciful saint who defended the lives of the unborn, sick and abandoned.

Published: 04th September 2016 03:16 PM  |   Last Updated: 04th September 2016 03:16 PM   |  A+A-

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A tapestry picturing Mother Teresa hangs from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. (AP)

By AP

VATICAN CITY: The Latest on the canonization of Mother Teresa (all times local):

11:30 a.m.

Pope Francis has praised Mother Teresa as the merciful saint who defended the lives of the unborn, sick and abandoned — and who shamed world leaders for the "crimes of poverty they themselves created."

Francis held St. Teresa up as a model for today's Christians during his homily for the nun who cared for the "poorest of the poor."

Speaking from the steps of St. Peter's Basilica, Francis said St. Teresa spent her life "bowing down before those who were spent, left to die on the side of the road, seeing in them their God-given dignity."

He added: "She made her voice heard before the powers of the world, so that they might recognize their guilt for the crimes of poverty they themselves created." As if to emphasize the point, Francis repeated the "the crimes of poverty they themselves created."

11:20 a.m.

Hundreds of people inside the headquarters of the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata clapped with joy as Mother Teresa was declared a saint by Pope Francis.

They congregated around Mother's tomb, which was decorated with a single lighted candle, flowers and a photo of the tiny saint. A caption on the tomb read "Saint Teresa of Calcutta. Pray for Us."

Sanjay Sarka, a local high school student, said it was a special day for the city.

She said: "Mother Teresa belonged to Kolkata and she has been declared a saint. I am so proud to be from Kolkata."

10:45 a.m.

Pope Francis has declared Mother Teresa a saint, honoring the tiny nun who cared for the world's most destitute as an icon for a Catholic Church that goes to the peripheries to find poor, wounded souls.

Applause erupted in St. Peter's Square even before Francis finished pronouncing the rite of canonization at the start of the Mass in St. Peter's Square.

For Francis, Mother Teresa put into action his ideal of the church as a merciful "field hospital" for the poorest of the poor, those suffering both material and spiritual poverty.

Hundreds of Missionaries of Charity sisters in their trademark blue-trimmed saris had front-row seats at the Mass alongside 1,500 homeless people and 13 heads of state or government, including Queen Sofia of Spain.

9:20 a.m.

The canonization Mass will begin with hymns and proceed almost immediately to the rite of canonization: the declaration that Mother Teresa is now a saint.

Cardinal Angelo Amato, the head of the Vatican's saint-making office, will read a brief biography of Mother Teresa and ask Pope Francis in the name of the church to canonize her.

Francis will then respond: "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."

8:25 a.m.

Pope Francis is following in the footsteps of Mother Teresa by offering some 1,500 homeless people a pizza lunch at the Vatican after her canonization Mass.

The homeless, most of who live in shelters run by Mother Teresa's Sisters of Charity order, came to Rome overnight on buses from across Italy to take part in Sunday's Mass. They're getting seats of honor for the celebration and will then be served lunch in the lobby of the Vatican auditorium.

A Neapolitan pizza maker brought 20 people and three pizza ovens to cook the lunch, which will be served to the guests by some 250 sisters and priests of the Sisters of Charity order.

7:20 a.m.

Thousands of pilgrims are thronging to St. Peter's Square for the canonization of Mother Teresa, the tiny nun who cared for the world's most unwanted and became the icon of a Catholic Church that goes to the peripheries to find lost, wounded souls.

Pope Francis is declaring Mother Teresa a saint at a Sunday morning Mass, making her the model of his Jubilee Year of Mercy and in some ways his entire papacy. For Francis, Mother Teresa put into action his ideal for the church to be a merciful "field hospital" for the poorest of the poor — both materially and spiritually.

Throughout the night, pilgrims prayed at vigils in area churches and flocked before dawn to the Vatican under heavy security to try to get a good spot for the Mass that was expected to draw more than 100,000 people.

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