India Prepares for the Canonization of Mother Teresa This Weekend

Calcutta gets ready to celebrate the Canonization of Mother Teresa on September 4, 2016.

Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, better known to the world as Mother Teresa, will be canonized by the Catholic Church on September 4, 2016. She is presently referred to as the Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, but at about 10:30 a.m. Rome time on that auspicious day when her canonization will be complete, she will henceforth be known as St. Teresa of Calcutta.

In Calcutta and the Country where she gave over fifty years of service to the poor and destitute, a plethora of activities and celebrations have been arranged to commemorate her selfless service and to celebrate her canonization as St. Teresa of Calcutta. Chief among these include a global film festival that will showcase close to 23 movies that have focused on the life and times of Mother Teresa.

Dubbed the Mother Teresa International Film Festival, the event has been organized by the Indian Chapter of SIGNIS. SIGNIS is the world Catholic Association for communication. The film festival will be hosted at the film and cultural center of Calcutta known as Nandan multiplex. This is a facility that is state owned and managed by the government of Calcutta.

There will be mass thanksgiving on October 2, at the Netaji Indoor stadium and a life size statue of Mother Teresa to be installed at the Bishop House in Calcutta are among other events and celebrations that have been prepared specifically for the canonization.

Mother Teresa is a famous and inspirational figure in the world, known for founding a religious Roman Catholic Congregation called the Missionaries of Charity. This is an organization that maintains a presence in over 133 countries, providing hospices and places where the terminally ill, poor and destitute can find rest and respite from the troubles of the world.

Mother Teresa was a Nobel laureate and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. She was also beatified as Blessed Teresa of Calcutta in 2003. The move was unprecedented seeing that in the Catholic Church, the canonization process cannot commence until at least five years have passed after the person’s death. In Mother Teresa’s case, the waiting period was reduced to two years.

Donna DiCasimirro, the leader of the Canonization activities committee for Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Parish remarked, “The woman truly believed in love. She didn’t care what faith they were. She knew people needed to be helped. That’s something we desperately need to remember in today’s world. God made you and the person next to you and the person you’re not necessarily happy with. We are supposed to love one another – there is no reason not to.”

It is reported that Mother Teresa received the call to minister to the poor and destitute in 1946, while she was on a train headed to the Loreto Convent in Calcutta for her annual retreat. She said, “I was to leave the convent and help the poor while living among them. It was an order. To fail would have been to break the faith.” Mother Teresa died on September 5, 1997, and was given a state funeral by the Indian Government.


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