Vatican City: August 29, 2016. (Tom Gallagher) Mother Teresa once said, "If I ever become a saint -- I will surely be one of 'darkness.' I will continually be absent from Heaven — to light the light of those in darkness on earth."
On Sept. 4, Mother Teresa will indeed be made a saint by Pope Francis at a ceremony at the Vatican. Hundreds of thousands from all corners of the world are expected to attend the event.
There has never been a question about whether Mother Teresa would become a saint, but when it would happen. The diminutive Albanian nun died in 1997. Two years later, her good friend Pope John Paul II (now canonized himself) dispensed with the requisite five-year waiting period and allowed the gathering of testimony and documentation for consideration of sainthood. This rigorous undertaking included more than 100 interviews of people who knew her and created some 80 volumes at more than 400 pages each.
In late 2002, the pope approved the decrees confirming her heroic virtue and the first miracle attributed to her — the healing of an Indian woman's abdominal tumor. Mother Teresa was beatified on Oct. 19, 2003, at a Vatican ceremony in front of an estimated 300,000 people. This writer was in attendance that day.