Our beloved Mother Teresa is being canonised today: St Teresa of Kolkata (Calcutta). There are celebrations in Rome and India and throughout the Catholic world. She was the best known Catholic woman of the 20th century, and her work for the poor and abandoned has inspired many – most obviously the Sisters of the congregation who continue her work.
Understandably, our Catholic papers are full of her and here are some extracts from The Tablet:
“When Mother Teresa died at the age of 87 on 5th September 1997, the Indian Government went all out to honour the woman who had been called “the saint of the gutters”. In an unprecedented gesture, the gun carriage that had been used only once before – to carry the body of Mahatma Gandhi in 1948 – was flown to Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) to carry her body along the streets prior to her burial at the Mother House.
It was a funeral that suited one of the most famous people on the planet, but for the first half of her life, Mother Teresa lived in obscurity. The world only got to know her in the 1970’s when the British journalist and broadcaster (and late Catholic convert) Malcolm Muggeridge discovered her and made his documentary film ‘Something Beautiful for God’.” (Anto Akkara)
Luci McGovern worked with Mother Teresa’s Sisters and writes: “This time twelve years ago I had just been granted a place a medical school and was planning my gap-year trip to India to volunteer with Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity. I had long been aware of their work . . . . I was overcome by the intensity of Kolkata: the noise, the dust, the pollution, the teaming mass of humanity and the beggars. As I approached the Mother House a young beggar woman held up her baby to me gesturing for me to take it away and give it a better life. Now, as a mother myself, I can only wonder at her despair.”
These are two impressions of the beauty of Mother Teresa’s life. We rejoice at her sanctity.
God bless us with her inspiration,
(4th September 2016)