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Funeral coverage:
Mother Teresa's grave reflects her simple life

Mourners honor Mother Teresa at funeral Mass

Mother Teresa's funeral ends, body heads to grave

Excerpts from eulogies at Mother Teresa's funeral:

Procession fit for a 'living saint'

QuickTime movie - beginning of procession

VXtreme video - The procession to the Netaji Indoor stadium

VXtreme video - Mother Teresa's body arrives at the stadium

VXtreme video - The funeral of Mother Teresa

Will process of sainthood be hastened for Mother Teresa?

Mother Teresa admired for works of mercy

Image Gallery:
A final farewell

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Procession fit for a 'living saint'

Crowd of mourners

Mother Teresa's cortege makes way through Calcutta

September 13, 1997
Web posted at: 12:18 a.m. EST (0518 GMT)

CALCUTTA, India (CNN) -- Escorted by a military honor guard and draped in the flag of India, the body of Mother Teresa solemnly made its way Saturday morning through the streets of Calcutta, the teeming city whose poor she so loved.

People from all walks of life crowded along both sides of the 5 kilometer (3.1 mile) procession route, which will take Mother Teresa's body from St. Thomas Church, where she has been lying in state, to Netaji indoor stadium for her funeral Mass.

Coverage of Mother Teresa's funeral procession
video icon 1.6MB/39 sec./160x120
The beginning

QuickTime movie
icon 2 min., 28 sec. VXtreme video
The procession to the Netaji Indoor stadium

9 min., 50 sec. VXtreme video
Mother Teresa's body arrives at the stadium

About 15 minutes into the procession, crowds started to push into the street, trying to touch the coffin, as police surrounding it tried to keep mourners back.

As it made its way through the streets of Calcutta, the coffin -- kept open so mourners could see Mother Teresa's face -- was draped in the green, white and saffron tricolor of India.

The crowd of mourners

In death as in life, she was wearing her trademark simple white sari, adorned with blue trim. A rosary and cross had been placed in her hands.

In this predominately Hindu city, more than a million people were expected to turn out to pay their final respects to the diminutive Roman Catholic nun of Albanian extraction, a woman they affectionately called "Mother."

In honor of her lifetime of devotion to India's poorest of the poor, Mother Teresa is being given a state funeral by her adopted country, an honor normally reserved for major political figures and heads of state.


She was carried from the church on the shoulders of eight military officers, escorted by another contingent of soldiers in red turbans and preceded by a military band. Her body was then placed on the same gun carriage that took revered Indian revolutionary figure Mahatma Gandhi to his funeral pyre in 1948.

The carriage, pulled by a military truck, was festooned with garlands of jasmine. Mourners showered the coffin with flower petals from windows and rooftops and hailed her with waves as the body went by.

Mother Teresa, 87, died of heart failure last Friday after several years of failing health.

She had spent more than five decades working in some of Calcutta's worst slums, ministering to the poor, sick and handicapped. For her efforts, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 and has been hailed as a "living saint."

Dignitaries from more than 23 countries were expected to turn out for her funeral Mass and a subsequent multi-faith service honoring her memory. But at the insistence of her religious order, the Missionaries of Charity, about half of the seats in Netaji stadium were reserved for those unfortunate people she served during her life.

Among the dignitaries attending the funeral were Italian President Oscaro Luigi Scalfaro, Jordan's Queen Noor, Hillary Rodham Clinton, the wife of U.S. President Bill Clinton, and Spain's Queen Sofia.

Correspondents Christiane Amanpour and Tom Mintier contributed to this report.

Mother Teresa special section
Mother Teresa special section

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