Mother Teresa, who worked with the poor in India and all over the world, was so universally admired that her name is often used as a synonym for goodness: “Well, I can try, but I’m no Mother Teresa.”
The stooped, humble Mother Teresa died in 1997 at the age of 87 and was before then regarded as a symbol of the struggle of the poor the world over. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her work with the poor and was sought out by world leaders.
Now the time has come, from Pope Francis, to make sainthood the next step for Mother Teresa. She will be canonized next year, after Pope Francis approved a second miracle, a man’s cure from a brain infection in 2008, to be attributed to Mother Teresa. Pope John Paul II, an admirer, waived the waiting period between a person’s death and the beginning of the sainthood process for Mother Teresa, so it has been accelerated.
Pope Francis also has made concern for the poor a theme of his papacy, and in effect has made Mother Teresa’s mission his own. He has in the process stirred younger Catholics to action, as the nun did.