BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Catholic Church’s most iconic figure has been declared a saint. Mother Teresa was canonized by Pope Francis on Sunday morning.
The Baltimore Basilica, where Saint Mother Teresa visited two decades ago, celebrated this special event. Tracey Leong spoke with clergy and parishioners there.
Mother Teresa prayed at the Baltimore Basilica in 1996. The church has since created a bronze bust to commemorate her visit.
“Declare and define blessed Teresa of Calcutta to be a saint,” proclaimed Pope Francis in front of thousands gathered in Saint Peter’s Square in Vatican City on Sunday.
The Church credits Mother Teresa with performing two miracles curing the sick, and dedicating her life to working with the poor in India.
Hundreds filled the Baltimore Basilica for Archbishop William Lori’s Mass celebrating the canonization.
“She just out-loved us, so we went along,” said Archbishop Lori.
The newly sainted Teresa has a strong presence in Baltimore. Two decades ago she attended Mass at the Basilica, just a year before her death.
“A saint prayed in this basilica, she was in my little chapel in my residence, she was in East Baltimore. So in a certain sense we have the honor to walk in her footsteps, not just literally but spiritually as well,” said Archbishop Lori.
Several of Mother Teresa’s sisters were in attendance for Sunday’s service, as well as Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis.
Many pouring in to recognize this iconic moment.”Feels special. she was so good and special and an inspiration,” said Basilica parishioner Ramon Matiz.
“Canonizations don’t come around often and it’s special for me because she was alive in my time,” said parishioner Cecelia Isalas.
Saint Mother Teresa visited Baltimore two times. Once, in 1992 and then a more extensive trip in 1996, where she prayed at the Baltimore Basilica and visited the Catholic Relief Services Headquarters.
Archbishop Lori will hold another celebration Mass for Saint Mother Teresa September 10 for the Missionaries of Charity at the Catholic Church in East Baltimore.