Mother Teresa of Calcutta will be canonised a Catholic saint on Sunday in Rome, but commemorations in Auckland will involve people of many faiths.

"Her work of loving service and care for the poorest of the poor in India knew no religious or cultural boundaries, and people of the world's great faiths honour her as one of their own," said Lyndsay Freer, spokeswoman for the Auckland Catholic Diocese.

"This has been evident in Auckland, when six years ago a unique inter-faith committee was formed by people of several faiths to arrange an annual event to commemorate Mother Teresa's legacy of service to the poor in India."

She is set to be canonised by Pope Francis at St Peter's Basilica on Sunday, and Auckland Bishop Patrick Dunn will lead commemorations here as part of the 11am mass at St Patrick's Cathedral.


The service will be attended by representatives from the Sikh, Hindu, Buddhist and Islamic faiths, and also the five Auckland-based nuns of Mother Teresa's Order, The Missionaries of Charity.

Born Agnes Bojaxhiu to an Albanian family in the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia, she was well known for her service to the poor and the destitute in India.

Mother Teresa visited New Zealand in 1973, where she was met in Wellington by the then Prime Minister Norman Kirk and Leader of the Opposition Jack Marshall.

In Auckland, she attended and spoke at a rally at Alexandra Park.

Six years after her visit, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her lifetime of service.

She died in 1993 and received a state funeral, and her body was taken in procession through the streets of Calcutta on a gun carriage that had also borne the bodies of Mahatma Gandhi and former Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

Mother Teresa was beatified by Pope John Paul II in October 2003, and had two miracles credited to her.

One was a woman in India, whose stomach tumour was cured and another was a Brazilian man with brain abscesses who woke from a tumour.

More than a thousand people are expected to attend the Auckland Sunday morning commemorations.

The inter-faith committee are also planning an event in November at St Paul's College in Ponsonby to celebrate her sainthood.