Ahmedabad (AsiaNews/CBCI) In the heart of Ahmedabad, Mother Teresa Square was full of people of many religions who gathered this morning to pay their respect to the Blessed on the ninth anniversary of her death. The nun, who founded the Missionaries of Charity, passed away on September 5, 1997, a day that for the Catholic Church has become the Feast of the "Blessed Teresa of Kolkata".
Remembered for embodying the greatest of human values, she was a woman whose love and compassion touched the lives and the hearts of the poorest of the poor, not only in India but all around the world.
Speaking on the occasion the Bishop of Ahmedabad Thomas Macwan urged those present to imitate the life of Mother Teresa and "transcend the narrow confines of their own religious group".
With this point of view, has particular importance the place of celebration.
Mother Teresa Chowk - where the Fest Day function was held - is in the centre of the city. It is a strategic location: behind the IP Mission Church and School, next to a fairly large Muslim residential population and rather adjacent to a famous temple called the Bhadrakali Temple.
Ahmedabad's former Mayor, Begum Aneesa Mirza, who was instrumental in getting the Municipal Corporation to set aside land for Mother Teresa Square, said the time had come to remember what Mother Teresa did during her lifetime and "reach out to our sisters and brothers who need our help". She appealed to her fellow citizens to support the work of the Missionaries of Charity not only in Ahmedabad but also in other parts of Gujarat.
The Municipal Corporation has earmarked a plot of land which is made into a lovely traffic island with a lot of greenery and flowers and in the midst of it is the Bronze Statue of Mother Teresa.
In this state still torn by sectarian violence the Missionaries of Charity, still known to most as Mother Teresa's Sisters run ten homes where they care for the destitute, the dying, the orphans, abandoned children, leprosy and AIDS patients.
The brief ceremony came to a close with people placing garlands and flowers on Mother Teresa's bronze statue and the Sisters of the Missionaries of Charity singing a song dedicated to the Blessed.