Odisha: widows, orphans and disabled people thank Mother Teresa (Photos)
by Nirmala Carvalho

About 2,000 people attended a Mass in St Vincent Cathedral led by the Archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneshwar. “Even if Mother Teresa never sought fame, she wielded immense charm,” said regional superior of the Missionaries of Charity. “The persuasive power of Mother Teresa's love could win hearts,” local official said.

Bhubaneshwar (AsiaNews) – Welcomed by the Missionaries of Charity, about 2,000 faithful, widows, orphans, sick, disabled, poor people, took part in a thanksgiving yesterday Mass to honour Mother Teresa in the presence of many priests and Mgr John Barwa, Archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneshwar.

"Saint Teresa represents the new identity of Christians and a model of goodness for humans in modern times,” said the prelate who led the service. “Mother Teresa restored human dignity to people who were abandoned, forgotten, uncared for, not respected, without recognition, and served them with love, with total commitment, loyalty and fraternity."

The ceremony took place at St Vincent Cathedral in Bhubaneshwar, capital of Odisha where the faithful gathered to thank the saint of the poorest of the poor, following her canonisation on 4 September.

"The saint’s life and her example as the 'Mother of the Poor' speak eloquently to each of us, believers or non believers, and are clearly visible as the city on the hill,” Mgr Barwa noted.

"Even if Mother Teresa never sought fame, she wielded immense charm that cannot be explained with the categories of this world, but must be seen in its supernatural horizon, one that nurtures the saints,” said Sr Olivet, regional superior of the Missionaries in Orissa.

“Indeed, the attraction [exerted] by her holiness reaped countless good fruits, first smitten and then captivated in a chain of love."

“Today we are here to thank God for the light that reached each one of us and the whole world through Mother Teresa,” said Sr Samuel, the previous regional superior for Odisha Region.

“This great woman of our time, this valiant messenger of the Gospel, whose life was deeply marked by love, is now a saint, one of the saints of the Catholic Church. Let us therefore look to her as an example and a source of inspiration.”

Andrias Tigga, additional commissioner of income tax in Bhubaneswar, also spoke at the ceremony. “Mother Teresa was a missionary, a messenger of God's love and an ambassador of his peace,” he said.

“She wanted the people she cared for to experience the tenderness of God's love. Her affectionate hand, her wide open arms, her luminous smile, her welcoming gestures, all carried the message: ‘You are loved, you are accepted, there is someone to take care of you’. The persuasive power of Mother Teresa's love could win hearts.”