Albania Declares 'Mother Teresa Year'

Albania declared 2004 to be "Mother Teresa Year" and set aside Oct. 19 as a national holiday in her honor, authorities said Friday.

The Roman Catholic nun, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for her work with the poor in India, is expected to be beatified by the Vatican on Oct. 19 as the last formal step before possible sainthood. Mother Teresa died in 1997.

Mother Teresa was born to an ethnic Albanian family as Agnes Gonxhe Bojaxhiu in Skopje, Macedonia. She went to Calcutta, India, in 1929, and dedicated her life to serving the poor and dying.

The Missionaries of Charity, the order of nuns founded by Mother Teresa in 1949, has some 650 centers in 123 countries. They are run by about 4,000 nuns and volunteers.