One of the Catholic churches most devout missionaries is now recognized as a Saint.
It’s the faith’s highest honor, and late Mother Teresa received that honor Sunday.
Pope Francis declared her holiness in front of the Vatican in Rome.
Mother Teresa is best known for her work with the poor in India.
Father Julian Policetti is Indian but is in town helping out at Holy Family Church in Kingsburg.
He not only spent met Mother Teresa, his encounter with her was so inspiring he started a foundation in her name.
“She does everything for Christ,” said said Father Policetti.
It was 1985 when Father Policetti met Mother Teresa.
She was opening an orphanage in his home town of Nalgonda in India.
“You feel the holiness of Mother Teresa already there when you are walking next to her,” said Father Policetti.
At the end of the day, she asked Father Policetti one question he says forever changed his attitude towards ministry.
“She called me close to her and said ‘father before you go to bed, ask yourself this question, what did I do for christ today?” said Father Policetti.
He says since then it’s been a question he’s asked himself every night before he goes to sleep.
He even started a non profit in her name to help the poor called Mother Teresa Rural Development Society.
Mother Teresa’s desire to help the poor and even being credited with performing two miracles of healing the sick are what inspired Pope Francis to recognize her as a Saint in front of hundreds of thousands of Catholics in Rome; just 19 years after her death.
Father Policetti says it normally takes decades after someone’s death to even be considered as a Saint, but he believes she is being recognized so soon because her work was so profound people called her a Saint even while she was still alive.
“Making Mother Teresa a Saint is an honor, especially to India where her work began. She has proved that she is the real follower of Jesus Christ,” said Father Policetti.
Mother Teresa died in 1997, but her legacy and work continues through people like Father Policetti who is returning back to India in a few weeks to continue his work with the poor.