08/27/2010, 00.00
RUSSIA
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Russian Catholics for Mother Teresa

by Nina Achmatova
Mass in the cathedral, a statue dedicated to the Blessed in Kaluga. Mother Teresa was the first in the former USSR to rush to help earthquake victims in Armenia and to help the people of Chernobyl, regardless of radiation.

Moscow (AsiaNews) - Catholics in Russia also celebrated the centenary of the birth of Mother Teresa, not far from Moscow, which a public monument was also dedicated to her. The Russian Catholic community recalled the Blessed with prayers for the poor and dispossessed in churches and chapels around the country. The Secretary General of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Russia, Fr. Igor Kovalevskij spoke to RiaNovosti Agency about the various initiatives.

In the cathedral of the Moscow mass in memory of Mother Teresa was held yesterday at 7 pm, with the participation of the Missionaries of Charity who are working in Moscow. The nuns of the congregation founded by Blessed live in two houses in the Russian capital: in one they care for disabled children, in the other the abandoned elderly.

On August 25, a statue dedicated to Mother Teresa of Calcutta was also unveiled in Kaluga region, 90 km from Moscow. The monument is located in the Indian pavilion of the "Etnomir" cultural centre a large exhibition space that reproduces the characteristics of various countries. The work, in bronze, depicts the world's most famous nun sitting surrounded by children.

Mother Teresa travelled to Russia in Soviet times. It was the winter of 1988, shortly after the devastating earthquake in Armenia. The Missionaries of Charity and their founder were at the forefront of aid, said Alexey Yudin, historian of religions who met Mother Teresa in Moscow that year. The name of the Albanian nun was linked to the USSR from early on not only the earthquake in Spitak, but also the tragedy of Chernobyl. Again the Blessed and his sisters were among the first to bring relief to the people, defying the dangers of radiation. For this she the USSR awarded her the gold medal for peace. (NA)

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