Pope To Beatify Mother Theresa In October

( [email protected] ) Jul 21, 2003 02:48 AM EDT

Pope John Paul II will beatify Mother Theresa of Calcutta at the Saint Peter's Basilica in Vatican on Oct. 19, Apostolic Nuncio Antonio Franco announced yesterday.

Pope John Paul II will preside over the celebration, which will start at exactly 8:55 a.m. and end at 11:30 a.m. (3:55 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. Manila time).

Fr. James Reuter, executive secretary of the PSC-MM National Office of Mass Media, said the decision of Vatican to conduct the ceremony in Rome means there will be no side trip to the Philippines for the ailing pope.

Rueter said in a statement that the doctors in Vatican would not allow him to go to India. So it is not likely for him to go to the Philippines this year.

Reuter explained that normally, the beatification takes place where the person lived and worked. And if Mother Theresa¢®¯s beatification will be held in Calcutta, Filipino bishops had previously hoped that the Pope can fly to Manila as well.

The Pope previously said that if he get to Calcutta, it would be easy to come to the Philippines.

Reuter said it is enough that his heart is in the Philippines.

Reuter disclosed that it is unusual for anyone to be beatified only a few years after one¢®¯s death. Mother Theresa died at the age of 87 in India on September 5, 1997.

But in her lifetime, Mother Theresa touched the lives of so many people as she dedicated her life to helping the poorest of the poor in India. This devotion won her respect throughout the world and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.

Born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in 1910 in Skopje, Yugoslavia, Mother Theresa joined a convent, later changed her name and founded the Missionaries of Charity, which worked in the deepest slums of Calcutta.