Kolkata celebrates Mother Teresa’s sainthood
Mother Teresa’s elevation to sainthood on Tuesday brought cheers in the Mother’s House, headquarters of the Missionaries of Charity here, and a big thanksgiving Holy Mass is being planned.
“Pope Francis today approved Mother Teresa’s elevation to sainthood and set September 4 as the date for her canonisation,” a message from the Vatican to the Mother’s House said. The elevation of Nobel Peace Prize winner Mother Teresa, who dedicated most of her life to working with the destitute and the downtrodden in Kolkata, to sainthood came after the Church recognised a second miracle earlier, the Missionaries of Charity (MOC) said.
“We have now received an official confirmation from Vatican that Pope Franscis has approved Mother’s sainthood and set September 4 as the date for her canonisation. We are very excited and happy about it,” Missionaries of Charity Spokesperson Sunita Kumar said. Archbishop Thomas D’Souza said that the canonisation was a formality but an important one.
“This is the last step in the canonisation process wherein the Pope meets the cardinal and signs the decree,” D’Souza said. The MOC and other Christian associations in Kolkata are planning a big thanksgiving Holy Mass on October 2 at the Netaji Indoor Stadium here. It is also having a special mass and prayer to mark the occasion this evening.
Nuns at the MOC said the canonisation in Rome will have a special universal significance because of Mother’s popularity. Sister Prema and Archbishop D’Souza will go to Rome to attend the canonisation. Archbishop Thomas D’souza said they were planning a big celebration in Kolkata in September to mark the occasion where delegates from different parts of the country will participate.
Besides a religious programme which includes a Holy Mass, there will also be a civil programme where dignitaries will be present. Hundreds thronged the iconic Mother’s House on Kolkata’s AJC Bose Road on Tuesday after Tuesday’s confirmation from the Vatican.
“I am very happy. She was God to us,” said Mohammad Riazuddin , the owner of a pan shop on AJC Bose Road.
Sumita Chakraborty, who lost her husband and only son in quick succession, said she was suffering from acute mental depression and decided to commit suicide. A friend introduced her to Mother Teresa, who inspired her to take up social service. “Now, I am 68 years old and I reach the orphanage in the morning and spend the whole day there. I have no time to think of anything else. I am indebted to Mother,” she said.
For EV Chandra, a retired senior bank manager, it is a significant day. Chandra’s mother taught Teresa Bengali and Chandra often visited her with his mother. “As a student of St. Xavier’s College, she inspired me to take up social service. Think of the poor and the needy and help them, she often used to say,” said Chandra.