Hundreds of Catholics in Albania held a mass on Thursday to commemorate the birth centenary of Mother Teresa.

Men and women in traditional folk costumes, schoolchildren, nuns and bishops filled the courtyard of a cathedral named after Mother Teresa, who was of Albanian origin, in Vau i Dejes, 110 km north of the capital, Tirana.

In Tirana, hundreds gathered to place red roses at the Mother Teresa monument. All the main streets were decorated with little white and blue flags and portraits of the nun. The Albanian authorities announced that they would issue special gold commemorative coins with Mother Teresa's likeness.

In Skopje — the capital of neighbouring Macedonia, where Mother Teresa was born — Parliament held a special session to pay tribute to the city's most famous daughter.

Born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in 1910, she arrived in India in 1929 and two years later took her religious vows as a nun. She adopted the name Teresa, under which she would achieve worldwide recognition.

Mother Teresa was beatified in 2003, but her elevation to sainthood is still awaiting proof of a medical miracle.

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