Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Mother Teresa’s canonisation could take place in Kolkata, probably in September, close to the date of her death, on 5 September 1997, said Kamran Michael, Pakistan’s Ministry of Ports and Shipping after a meeting with Pope Francis on Wednesday.
Speaking on TV2000, the TV network of the Italian Bishops' Conference, he said that he had invited the pontiff to visit Pakistan, having learnt that "Francis is planning a visit to India in September for a tribute to Mother Teresa of Kolkata".
Mother Teresa’s canonisation is now an established fact after the pope approved a miracle attributed to her intercession last December. But neither the date nor the place of the canonisation are known yet.
The Catholic Bishops' Conference of India has called on the Holy Father to carry out the canonisation of the founder of the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata where she started her work for the "poorest of the poor": the dying, abandoned children, the disabled.
The ceremony and a visit by Pope Francis in the Year of the Jubilee may offer a sign of reconciliation in a country frequently shaken by episodes of persecution against Christians.
So many years after her death, Mother Teresa continues to be loved by people of all religions, and her grave in Kolkata is visited by Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims and Christians.
Contacted by AsiaNews, a nun of Mother Teresa, who preferred to remain anonymous, said, "We do not have any official communication yet."
In all likelihood, the official news of the place and date of the canonisation will be made public by the consistory scheduled for 15 March at the Vatican, centred on "some causes of canonisation."
Born in 1910, Mother Teresa was beatified by John Paul II on 19 October 2003, more than five years after her death, with a very sped-up beatification process. During the ceremony, the Polish Pope defined her as "the icon of the mission in the 21st century”.
Her canonisation in the Holy Year of Mercy makes her an "icon" of the works of mercy, which Pope Francis has called on Christians to perform during this Jubilee.