She is the worldwide symbol of selfless service, so when I was given the chance to attend the ceremonies regarding her canonization in Rome, I went for it. No one does pageantry like the Vatican. In a different cathedral I attended an Oratorio written about her life. But while she is a hero to millions, not everyone is a fan. Some view her as a myth — even harmful. I wrote about that paradox of Mother Teresa in the San Diego Union-Tribune here.
At the canonization mass I sat in the front row, surrounded by thousands of Missionaries of Charity from around the world, in a crowd of more than 100,000. In my row were three people from the U.S. who had met Mother Teresa, and whose lives were changed by her. I wrote about them in Christian Century magazine here.
And here are some photos from the event: