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An ailing Pope John Paul (83) beatified Mother Teresa before a crowd of 300,000 today, calling her an icon of charity and placing her on the fast track to sainthood. The Pope, who seemed tired,read the formula of beatification with difficulty in Latin.Aides read out his sermon in English and Italian." I am personally grateful to this courageous woman, who I always felt was at my side," the Pope said of Mother Teresa in his homily. " She was an icon of the Good Samaritan. She had chosen to be not just the least but to be the servant of the least. The Pope praised Mother for "her faith-filled conviction that in touching the broken bodies of the poor, she was touching the body of Christ". Earlier, after Mother Teresa was declared "Blessed" , Indian girls in white and gold saris lined up to present flowers at the altar. An Indian hymn chanted to music by tabla,harmonium and bells brought a touch of Kolkata to St Peter's Square. "With our apostolic authority, we grant that the venerable servant of God Teresa of Kolkata shall from now on becalled blessed," the Pope declared. Applause and cheering broke out in the crowd and a large tapestry showing a smiling Mother was unveilied from a balcony. Both Catholic and Non-Catholic admirers packed St.Peter's Square and filled the broad Via della Conciliazation leading from the Vatican to the Tiberriver.The blue-trimmed white saris worn by nuns of the Missionaries of Charity stood out in the vast crowd. A special section for thousands of Rome's homeless and downtrodden was reserved close to the elevated altar where the Pope said the beatification Mass. Mother Teresa was for us great because she was not just a daughter of our homeland. Albania She gave up our flag and every other flag for one flag, he flag of love," said Dod Brokshi, an Albanian. Sister Nirmala, who succeeded mother as superior-general of the missionaries of charity was also present along with Union Minister of state for law and Justice P.C.Thomas who represented the Govt of India.

Mother Teresa Church at Kairady - First Church in the World
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