Tens of thousands of people gathered in Vatican City on Saturday as final preparations got underway for the canonisation of Mother Teresa on Sunday.
Pope Francis will on Sunday lead a service in front of St. Peter’s basilica that will see the nun officially proclaimed a saint in a solemn beatification ceremony.
Mother Teresa, a Nobel Peace Prize winner was affectionately known during her lifetime as the “saint of the gutters” for her devotion to people living in poverty in Kolkata, India. Her outreach also covered slum-dwellers, famine victims and AIDS sufferers.
Born Gonxha Agnes Bojaxhiu to Albanian parents in 1910 in what is now Macedonia, she became a nun at the age of 16 and moved to India in 1929, creating her first mission in 1950. She died in 1997.
Catholics revered Mother Teresa for bringing relief to the sick and dying through her Missionaries of Charity order, whose sisters wear distinctive blue-trimmed white robes, established around the world.
However, critics say she did little to alleviate the pain of the terminally ill and nothing to tackle the root causes of poverty.
She was also accused of trying to convert the destitute in the predominantly Hindu nation to Christianity, a charge her order has repeatedly denied.
The Roman Catholic Church has more than 10,000 saints, many of whom were not elevated until centuries after their deaths.