Mother Teresa. Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Mother Teresa. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

A special Mass honoring Mother Teresa on the same day the famed late nun is named a saint in Rome will be celebrated Sunday at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles by Archbishop Jose H. Gomez.

The 3:30 p.m. Mass will feature a “first-class relic” of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning nun who cared for hundreds of thousands of destitute and homeless poor in Kolkata, India: pieces of her hair in the form of a cross.

Due to the time difference with Rome, a crowd of 120,000 had already gathered Sunday in St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City. The woman whose name has come to be equated with anyone who cares for the downtrodden will now officially be referred to as Saint Teresa of Kolkata.

Following the Los Angeles Mass, Gomez will bless and open a chapel dedicated to Mother Teresa, where photographs and stories of her visits to Los Angeles will be displayed, as well as the relic for public veneration.

Mother Teresa’s canonization in Vatican City by Pope Francis came one day before the 19th anniversary of her death.

In his column in the Archdiocese’s publication Angelus News, Gomez called Mother Teresa “one of my favorite saints.”

“She is witness to mercy and holiness, and one who inspires me in my spiritual life and in my ministry of service,” Gomez wrote.

Mother Teresa’s “humble works of love, done for people who were abandoned and forsaken in a remote city in India, became a sign for the whole world of God’s tender and merciful love,” Gomez wrote.

“Mother Teresa gave up her privileged position and all her possessions to live as one of the world’s poor and forgotten and to bring them the light of Christ and the love of God,” Gomez wrote.

“Her message to the rest of us was direct — we should seek our salvation in the God who comes to us in the poor and the outcast. We should seek Jesus at the margins of society in what she called ‘his distressing disguise.”‘

— Staff and wire reports

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