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Mother Teresa – IV: last days and beatification
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, 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.
The whole of Mother Teresa’s life and labour bore witness to the joy of loving, the greatness and dignity of every human person, the value of little things done faithfully and with love, and the surpassing worth of friendship with God.
During the last three weeks we listened to the Early years of Mother Teresa, and her new found vocation to serve the poorest of the poor, what she called a ‘call within a call’ and the legacy she left behind for us. Today let us listen to the last days of Mother Teresa and her beatification.
During the last years of her life, despite increasingly severe health problems, Mother Teresa continued to govern her Society and respond to the needs of the poor and the Church. By 1997, Mother Teresa’s Sisters numbered nearly 4,000 members and were established in 610 foundations in 123 countries of the world. Today 5,100 sister continue her work in these countries.
In March 1997 she blessed her newly-elected successor as Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity and then made one more trip abroad. After meeting Pope John Paul II for the last time, she returned to Calcutta and spent her final weeks receiving visitors and instructing her Sisters. On 5th September Mother Teresa’s earthly life came to an end. She was given the honour of a state funeral by the Government of India.
About Mother Teresa’s funeral Daniel Lak of BBC reported from Delhi
Indian Prime Minister of the time I.K. Gujral said…..
American President Bill Clinton while condoling her death said…..
A Catholic priest who came in contact with Mother Teresa in London said about her….
Noel Irwin – Henschel, a business woman whose life changed after meeting Mother Teresa said….
Mother herself has said about her own mission….
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.
Mother Teresa’s body was buried in the Mother House of the Missionaries of Charity. Her tomb quickly became a place of pilgrimage and prayer for people of all faiths, rich and poor alike.
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 at St. Peter’s square in Rome. It was World Mission Sunday. Hundreds of thousands of people from India and from around the world witnessed the moving ceremony, much of which was beamed live to South Asia.
During the solemn liturgical celebration at St. Peter’s square in Rome, Pope John Paul II spoke of Mother Teresa of Calcutta. The ailing Pope’s homily was read by an assistant
From this year 2013, United Nations has decided to observe 5th September as International Day of Charity designated to honor Mother Teresa. We would like to conclude this program with a special song sung by Angelina of CWTN honoring Mother Teresa.
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. This program is brought to you by Vatican Radio’s English Service for South Asia. By P.J. Joseph SJ
FRIDAY, 27 September 2013