Masses across the Philippines to celebrate the saint of Calcutta

This morning, anniversary of the saint's death, a Mass was celebrated in the parish of the Immaculate Conception in Manila, close to the house for the poor and the dying run by the Missionaries of Charity. On October 7, a service is planned for Manila Cathedral led by Card Tagle.

Manila (AsiaNews/CBCP) – Today the Missionaries of Charity in the Philippines celebrated the canonisation of their foundress, Mother Teresa, with Masses celebrated in different parishes and missionary centres across the country. Today is also the anniversary of the new saint’s death.

In the parish of the Immaculate Conception of Manila, the service began at 6 am. The church is located in the Tondo District, near the house run by missionaries who take in people who are sick, abandoned and dying.

On 7 October, Card Luis Antonio Tagle, archbishop of Manila and president of Caritas Internationalis, will preside a thanksgiving Mass for the canonisation of Mother Teresa in the capital's cathedral.

Fr Regie Malicdem, rector of the cathedral, said the Missionaries of Charity will also attend the Mass.

In 2010 the number of Missionaries of Charity in the Philippines was 160, a third of whom in overseas service.

Relations between the Philippines and Mother Teresa began in 1977 when the Albanian nun visited the country (then under the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos).

Following that trip, the congregation opened its first centre in Manila's Binondo District: a home for sick and malnourished children.

In 1978 Mother Teresa herself opened a home for the dying in Tondo. Eight years later, a ‘House of Joy’ was completed in Tayuman (Manila), also for children in difficulty.

In the following years, the Missionaries of Charity spread their work throughout the country, with new centres in the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan, Caceres, Cebu, Davao, Tuguegarao, Palo and elsewhere.