Historical Events  Religion
Mother Teresa

Made a saint in the 1990's

Made a saint in 2016

Wasn't she already canonised?

Many people were surprised to hear Mother Teresa was being made a Saint, or Canonised, in 2016 because they thought she already was one.

Some even remember this happening whilst she was alive, which is unprecedented. They recall Pope John Paul II performing the ceremony.

Could these people just be confusing the sainthood ceremony with the many others she was honoured at, such as winning the Nobel Peace prize, the Pope John XXIII Peace Prize and India's highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna?

There is also something unusual regarding the process, which doesn't seem to be in doubt. The beatification process traditionally only began 5 years after the person's death, but this was waived by Pope John Paul II in 1997.

Saint Teresa

People have pointed out a discrepancy - if she had been canonised whilst alive, we'd all have been calling her Saint Teresa. Or maybe we did - in another timeline.There are reports of her appearing on the cover of Time magazine with the title  "Mother Theresa a Saint".

There is a great deal of bureaucracy to be completed before a saint can be appointed, and this is what takes years. The catholic church holds a series of court meetings, with some arguing for it and some against. The ones against are called the devils advocate, and for Teresa it was Christopher Hitchens, who had been investigating her for some time, itself causing a great deal of controversy. His 1995 book, The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice, suggested she was in fact more interested in furthering the aims of the church than the poor, and was in fact using the poor for her own ends.

What makes this confusing even more is she is still referred to as Mother Theresa, so people hearing this might not realise even today she is a saint.