09/04/2009, 00.00
INDIA

Mother Teresa of Calcutta 12 years on from her death

by Sr Mary Prema
A message from the superior of the Missionaries of Charity on the anniversary of the death of the Mother of the poor, which is also her liturgical feast day. Memory must become witness of God's love for the poor, who lack food and medicine, and those who are poor in spirit, who lack welcome and friendship.
Kolkata (AsiaNews) - Tomorrow, September 5, marks12 years since the death of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, which occurred in the city she adopted as her home and centre of her mission, after a long illness. For the occasion, Sr. Prema, superior of the Missionaries of Charity, the order of nuns founded by Mother Teresa, sent a message to all friends which we publish below. AsiaNews is tied to the mission of Mother Teresa and considers her the patron saint of this site, committed - as she was – to the evangelization of Asia. When in 2003 John Paul II beatified her, he also proclaimed her an "icon of mission of the XXI century".

September 5, 2009  

A week ago, we began the preparation for the celebration in 2010 of the centenary of Mother Teresa's birth. Today we commemorate the 12th anniversary of her death. In the Catholic

Church we celebrate today as the feast day of  Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. The heroic sanctity of her life assures us that her death on earth meant her birth in heaven. As much as we miss our Mother, we rejoice that we have her as a friend and intercessor in heaven, close to God.

 

Mother Teresa has shown us that there is no poverty more painful than that of being unloved and unwanted. To  heal this pain, God calls each one of us to be His love, presence and compassion to the materially and spiritually poorest of the poor. We need not do big things, only small things with great love.

 

We remember Mother for the joy in her smile, the warmth of her touch. One day, an elderly homeless man reached out to Mother and shook hands with her. He said, "It's been such a long time since I felt the warmth of a human hand."

 

Just remembering Mother on her feast day is not enough. We, too, can bring untold joy, hope and encouragement into the lives of those around us who are suffering not only from the lack of food, medicine, clothing and shelter, but from the lack of a smile, a kind word and a friend's presence.

 

Let us be ready to give of ourselves, to love until it hurts. When we go home to God one day, He will call us blessed and say to us, "Whatever you did to the least of my brothers, you did it to me".

 

God bless you,

 

Sr. Prema MC

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