What a week this has been and what amazing days are ahead of us, culminating in the canonization Sunday of a holy woman known the world over simply as Mother Teresa. Members of the order she founded, the Missionaries of Charity, have been pouring into Rome and they have organized a grand number of events to honor their foundress and soon to be Saint Teresa of Calcutta, including concerts, symposiums, art exhibits, and multi-lingual Masses.

I took this photo this morning as I was entering Vatican Radio for my weekly program, “Joan Knows.” These Missionaries of Charity Sisters were all waiting at the bus stop just out front.

MC nuns

Before I go further let me tell you about my guest in the interview segment. I talk with Fr. Brian Kolodeijchuk, MC, the postulator of Mother Teresa’s cause for canonization. He has, of course, terrific insight and wonderful stories about this diminutive nun who was larger than life for everyone who came into contact with her.



Another big event on the calendar this weekend is the three-day Jubilee of Volunteers that culminates Sunday with the papal Mass in St. Peter’s square. This event was already on the Jubilee calendar when the Vatican announced in March that Teresa’s canonization would be the same September day.

Tomorrow morning there is a catechesis event for volunteers, expected to number 25,000, in St. Peter’s Square with Pope Francis. Sunday, as you know, the canonization Mass takes place in the square, and Monday, as is usual after a canonization, there will be a Mass of thanksgiving in St. Peter’s Square presided over by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin.


The Director of the Holy See Press Office Greg Burke said it would be impossible to predict how many people will attend Sunday’s canonization Mass for Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Speaking at a Vatican press conference giving details about the highly-anticipated event, Burke said all 100,000 tickets had been distributed for the Mass but that the crowd would likely be far greater, spilling into the streets around St. Peter’s Square.

Some 600 journalists from all over the world have flocked to Rome to cover Mother Teresa’s canonization which is being seen by many as the highlight of this Jubilee Year of Mercy. More than a dozen heads of state or government will be among the many dignitaries attending the Mass.

Among those speaking at the packed press conference on Friday morning were Sister Mary Prema Pierick, the Superior General of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, the postulator for her sainthood cause and Marcilio Haddad Andrino, the Brazilian who was declared miraculously healed through Mother Teresa’s intercession.

Andrino described how he was suffering from a viral brain infection and the doctors had lost all hope of saving his life when his wife Fernanda prayed to Mother Teresa and immediately afterwards he found himself miraculously healed from the illness. He expressed gratitude for his recovery but said he is just one example of God’s ample mercy and love and stressed he “did not feel special.” Within a year, his wife became pregnant and they were able to have two children even though Andrino had been told that the powerful drugs he had taken had made him infertile. He called his two children “the extension of that miracle.”

Turning to the technical side of the canonization Mass, Burke told journalists that the event will be filmed using 4K Ultra High Definition and using nine television cameras. He said the Canonization can also be seen on the Vatican’s YouTube platform, on the Vatican player of Vatican Radio and on the website of the Vatican Television Service (CTV). (from Vatican Radio)