The Pope has declared Mother Teresa – who worked with the dying and destitute in the Indian city of Kolkata – a saint.
Tens of thousands watched in St Peter’s Square as Pope Francis held the canonisation mass for the nun, revered as one of the icons of the 20th century.
The service took place the day before the 19th anniversary of her death.
The pontiff said in Latin: “For the honour of the Blessed Trinity … we declare and define Blessed Teresa of Calcutta (Kolkata) to be a Saint and we enroll her among the Saints, decreeing that she is to be venerated as such by the whole Church.”
People started clapping and cheering even before he had finished speaking.
Among the audience were hundreds of sisters from the Missionaries of Charity, the mission that Mother Teresa founded, with their trademark blue-trimmed saris.
Joining them were 1,500 homeless people and 13 heads of state or government.
The homeless people will be offered a lunch of pizza after the canonisation ceremony is completed, in honor of her work.
Saint Teresa of Kolkata, as she will now be known, founded and ran a mission for four decades in what was then Calcutta, one of India’s largest cities where levels of deprivation were high.
She underwent beatification – the first step in the path to Sainthood – in 2003 when Pope John Paul II officially recognised as a miracle the apparent curing of a woman of cancer.
Monica Besra claims her stomach tumours disappeared after a medallion bearing Mother Teresa’s image was placed on her stomach.
On Sunday, a second apparent miracle was acknowledged – the curing of a Brazilian man of a brain tumour.
Francis is understood to regard the nun as a model for his Jubilee Year of Mercy.