VATICAN CITY: Pope Benedict XVI marked the 10th death anniversary of Mother Teresa on Wednesday, calling her a “real disciple of Christ” and urging her fellow missionaries to continue her work among the world’s poor.
“Dear friends, the life and witness of this real disciple of Christ ... are an invitation to you and the whole church to always faithfully serve God in the poor and the needy,” the Pope said as he greeted about 1,500 Missionaries of Charity members gathered in St. Peter’s Square for his general audience.
Among those on hand was the Rev. Brian Kolodiejchuk, the postulator, or main advocate pushing Mother Teresa’s sainthood.
He has just published a book, “Come Be My Light: The Private Writings of the ‘Saint of Calcutta,”’ which details Mother Teresa’s long-standing feelings that God had abandoned her.
Rev. Kolodiejchuk, a member of the Missionaries of Charity founded by Mother Teresa, who gave a copy of the book to the Pope, said he wrote it because he wanted to show the “depth of Mother Teresa’s saintliness,” the ANSA news agency reported.
“Keep following her example, and be everywhere tools of the divine mercy,” the pontiff said.
Mother Teresa, a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, devoted herself to helping the poorest of the poor in Calcutta (Kolkata) for about seven decades.
The ethnic Albanian nun died on Sept. 5, 1997 at age 87. — AP
“Waiting for second miracle”
Kolkata Special Correspondent writes:
“We are waiting for [the acknowledgement of] a second miracle for sainthood for Mother,” Sister Nirmala, Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity, said here on the occasion.
Pope John Paul II started the process of beatification of Mother Teresa shortly after her death in 1997.
In 2003, she was beatified and declared “blessed” after the Vatican recognised as a miracle her healing of a woman, Monica Besra.
A second miracle is required for her to proceed towards canonisation and sainthood.
“She [Mother Teresa] had faith in God. Let us ask Mother to pray for us,” Sister Nirmala said, expressing gratitude on the Mother’s death anniversary.
A candlelight procession was taken out by scores of people at dawn in memory of Mother Teresa, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for her work among the poor and dying in the city.
Visitors gathered at her tomb and prayers were held at Mother House, headquarters of the Missionaries of Charity, the order set up by the Mother. An all-faith prayer was also held.