Saturday, August 26, 2006

Kolkata (Calcutta) Celebrates Mother Teresa's 96th Birthday

As reported by the Asian News Service; August 26, 2006

Kolkata, India -- Birthday celebrations and special prayers were held at the headquarters of Missionaries of Charity here on Saturday to commemorate the 96th birth anniversary of Mother Teresa.

Hundreds of people joined nuns at the Missionaries of Charity for a special morning mass at Mother's House here. Sister Nirmala, the Superior General of the Charity, said that prayers were held to make their lives as fruitful as that of the Mother.

"We all thank God for Mother's life. We are having prayers and rejoicing and we are also praying that we all of us make our life something beautiful for God as Mother has done," she said.
Selfless love and devotion of Mother towards humankind has earned her followers from far and wide.

"I have never met the Mother but in 2000, I have worked with sisters of the Mother Teresa's Missionary of Charity in Barcelona and Liverpool. After that I began to know Mother and after a few months I began to learn the love for the people, that she had for each of us," Alex, a volunteer said.

Albanian born Mother Teresa made Kolkata her home and dedicated her life to the service of poor and destitute children. She was beatified by the Pope in October 2003, paving the way for her canonization.

Mother Teresa qualified for beatification after Vatican officials acknowledged that she was responsible for a miracle in which an Indian woman was cured of stomach cancer through her intervention.

Mother Teresa who died on September 5, 1997, at the age of 87, was popularly known as the "Saint of the Gutter" for her extraordinary love and dedication to poor, homeless and diseased people.

She came to India in 1929 at the age of 18 and took up teaching and became an Indian citizen in 1948. She started working in slums and later set up her Missionaries of Charity, which was approved by the Vatican in 1950.

The Missionary now runs more than 500 homes in over 100 countries.

Mother received several national and international awards for her social service during her lifetime. They include the Magsaysay Award in 1962, the Pope John XXIII Peace Prize in 1971, the John F. Kennedy International Award in 1971 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.