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Blessed Teresa of Calcutta – I: her Early Years
Welcome to our special program on the Year of Faith, THE FAITHFUL WITNESS, a series on the lives of Inspiring People and Witnesses of faith in the Catholic Church from around the world. These are people who lived their ordinary lives in extraordinary ways. They are examples of great fortitude and virtue. Their unique stories inspire us to be rooted in our faith. God calls each one of us today to inspire our brothers and sisters and to be witnesses of our faith.
The Faithful Witness of this week is Blessed Teresa of Kolkata. In this month of September especially in the first week, hundreds of thousands of people converge on the headquarters of the Missionaries of Charity in the Indian city of Kolkata, to pay homage to its founder, Mother Teresa of Calcutta. People from all walks of life streams into her tomb in the mother house to pray to her.
Mother Teresa used to say, “By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the Heart of Jesus.
Mother Teresa left a testament of unshakable faith, invincible hope and extraordinary charity. Her response to Jesus’ plea, “Come be My light,” made her a Missionary of Charity, a “mother to the poor,” a symbol of compassion to the world, and a living witness to the thirsting love of God.
Less than two years after her death, in view of Mother Teresa’s widespread reputation of holiness and the favours being reported, Pope John Paul II permitted the opening of her Cause of Canonization. On 20th December 2002, the Pope approved the decrees of her heroic virtues and miracles.
Pope John Paul II beatified her on 19th October 2003, just six years after her death.
Agnes inherited piety and other religious values from her mother who took her three children to church daily. Every evening the family gathered in the living room to recite the rosary. While Agnes was in High School, she first felt the call of God at the age of 12. She pondered over it for a long time. One day she went to her parish priest at the Sacred Heart parish, to ask for help on how to she could discern her vocation. He told her when you feel that God is calling you, you should feel joy in contemplation of serving God and your neighbor.
Later Agnes told her mother her desire to become a missionary. Drane initially refused to give her permission, but after a while she give in to her daughter saying ‘put your hand into his hand and walk all the way with him’.
xxxN: Archbishop Lucas Sircar told about the vocation of Mother Teresa at her beatification ceremony in Rome.
You have been listening to THE FAITHFUL WITNESS our weekly series based on the lives of Inspiring People and Witnesses of faith in the Catholic Church from around the world. Our Faithful Witness today has been Blessed Teresa of Kolkata. If you have a faith experience to share with us, let us know. Visit our website radiovaticana.va. By P.J. Joseph SJ
FRIDAY, 06 September 2013