Mother Teresa is proclaimed a saint

What happened?

Applause erupted in St Peter’s Square as Pope Francis canonised Mother Teresa on Sunday. More than 100,000 pilgrims had gathered for the ceremony, including hundreds of members of the Missionaries of Charity, the order she founded. Also in attendance were 1,500 homeless people from across Italy, who were treated to pizza paid for by Francis through the papal almoner. The canonisation followed the healing of a Brazilian man who had suffered several brain tumours.

What the British media are saying

The British coverage was poor. The Monday edition of the Times did not cover the canonisation at all. The Daily Mail led with a British pop star singing at a papal basilica the evening before. Its headline read: “So demure … Rita Ora covers up and sings for St Teresa.” The Guardian carried the story on page 3, with the headline: “No room for controversy as crowds see Mother Teresa made into a saint”.

The paper’s website ran a piece by Mari Marcel Thekaekara, an Indian writer who helped the Missionaries of Charity as a child but, as a Marxist, grew to loathe Mother Teresa. In the end, though, she realised she had been wrong. “I cannot in conscience criticise a woman who picked people off filthy pavements to allow them to die in dignity. To my knowledge, there’s still no one else doing that,” she wrote.

​How to continue reading…

This article appears in the Catholic Herald magazine - to read it in full subscribe to our digital edition from just 30p a week

The Catholic Herald is your essential weekly guide to the Catholic world; latest news, incisive opinion, expert analysis and spiritual reflection