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3Novices:Pope Francis declares Mother Teresa a saint

VATICAN CITY // Pope Francis on Sunday declared revered nun Mother Teresa a saint in a canonisation mass at St Peter's square.

"For the honour of the Blessed Trinity ... we declare and define Blessed Teresa of Calcutta (Kolkata) to be a Saint and we enroll her among the Saints, decreeing that she is to be venerated as such by the whole Church," the pontiff said in Latin.

The elevation of one of the icons of 20th Century Christianity came a day before the 19th anniversary of her death in Kolkata, the Indian city where she spent nearly four decades working with the dying and the destitute.

Tens of thousands of pilgrims flocked into St Peter's square on Sunday to hear Pope Francis proclaim Mother Teresa a saint.

Around 100,000 faithful have been issued tickets for the mass, although the Vatican could easily have issued double that number but for space and security restrictions.

Helicopters buzzing over the 16th-century basilica testified to the huge security operation under way. Some 3,000 officers were on duty to ensure the day passed off peacefully.

Among the assembled crowd were some 1,500 poor or needy people who are looked after by the Italian branches of Teresa's order, the Missionaries of Charity.

After the mass they were to be Pope Francis's guests at the Vatican for a giant pizza lunch served by 250 sisters and 50 male members of the order.

* Agence France-Presse
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