A cathedral dedicated to St Teresa of Calcutta is due to be consecrated on September 5, the 20th anniversary of the saint’s death.
Pope Francis has appointed Cardinal Ernest Simoni to be his delegate at the consecration in Pristina, the capital of the partially recognised state of Kosovo.
Although the building has been a place of worship for Catholics since 2010, the shrine will be formally dedicated to Mother Teresa at the consecration.
The Italianate-style building has been under construction since 2007 and remains unfinished. When complete, it will have two bell towers, each standing at 230 feet tall, making it one of the tallest buildings in the city.
Among the designs on its stained-glass windows are depictions of St Teresa with Pope St John Paul II, and Pope Benedict XVI embracing Pope Francis.
Upon completing, it will become the new see of the Apostolic Administrator of Prizren, the Catholic Church’s most senior cleric in the territory.
There are around 65,000 Catholics in Kosovo, out of a population of approximately two million. Most Kosovars are ethnic Albanians, like Mother Teresa. Almost 95 per cent are Muslim.
The Holy See does not currently recognise Kosovo as a sovereign state.
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