Mass in Calcutta marks anniversary of Mother Teresa’s birth (Photo and Video)
Celebrated by Archbishop D'Souza, who also celebrates his birthday today. He recalls that "the Mother served the poorest of the poor with selfless service and passionate love, giving them to Jesus through her work".
Mumbai (AsiaNews) - This morning Abp. Thomas D’Souza of Calcutta, presided over a mass in memory of the 109 years since the birth of Mother Teresa, the saint of the poorest of the poor.
Father Dominic Gomes, vicar general of the archdiocese, told AsiaNews: "It was a splendid celebration. The 109th anniversary of the birth of our beloved Saint Mother Teresa was a moment of thanksgiving through prayer and joy. The chapel was packed with people of all social origins ”.
Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, was born on 26 August 1910 in Skopje (ex-Yugoslavia, now Macedonia), to an Albanian Catholic family. At 18 she decided to enter the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Loreto. She left for Ireland in 1928, the following year she was sent to India, where in 1931 she took her first vows taking the new name of Sister Mary Teresa of the Child Jesus. For the next 17 years she was a teacher of history and geography in the college of nuns of Loreto in Entally, in Calcutta. In 1944 she became its Principal.
The turning point of her dates to September 10, 1946. Sister Teresa is on the train, headed for Darjeeling for spiritual exercises, when she hears her "second call": the cry of Jesus on the cross who says "I am thirsty!". It is the call to dedicate oneself to the poorest of the poor, whom she sees in those who die every day along the streets of Calcutta. In 1948, on August 15, she left the sisters of Loreto become Mother Teresa.
On 7 October 1950, the Congregation of the Missionaries of Charity obtained diocesan approval. In February 1965 Paul VI gave them the title of "congregation of pontifical right" and therefore the possibility of operating outside India. Mother Teresa died in Calcutta on the evening of Friday 5 September 1997, at 9.30pm. She was 87 years old. On her tomb, in the Generalate of the Missionaries in Calcutta, the evangelical "Love one another as I have loved you".
In the mass for her canonization, which took place on September 4, 2016, Pope Francis called her "a model of holiness for the whole world of volunteering", declaring her the patron saint of volunteering. This morning the archbishop of Calcutta recalled in his homily: "Jesus invites us to love one another. The Mother served the poorest of the poor with selfless service and passionate love, giving them to Jesus through her work ".
Later, Msgr. D’Souza lit a candle on the decorated tomb of the Mother, then those present sang a greeting song. Sister Mary Prema, current superior of the congregation, said: "Mother always repeated that we are called to be faithful, not to be successful".
Today is also the archbishop's birthday. At the end of the function in honor of the saint, Msgr. D’Souza was celebrated by the staff of the diocese in the archiepiscopal house. In the garden, in front of the statue of Mother Teresa, he paused for a brief recollection in prayer together with the faithful.