Congress president Sonia Gandhi will not be able to attend Mother Teresa’s canonisation ceremony in the Vatican City on Sunday owing to her bad health. As a result, the party has named former governor Margaret Alva and Goa unit chief Luizinho Faleiro as its representatives to the ceremony.
“If I had not been unwell, I too would have been there to witness the sacred ceremony, and to pay my humble homage to the woman who was the very embodiment of boundless compassion, mercy and grace,” Gandhi said in a letter to Pope Francis.
“The canonisation of Mother Teresa is an occasion for all Indians to give deep thanks that she spent her life in India, serving the poorest and the neediest in our land,” she said.
Mother Teresa, a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, will be declared a saint by Pope Francis on September 4, 19 years after her death in Kolkata at the age of 87. The Pope had made the announcement regarding her canonisation in March.
“For the countless people whose suffering and pain Mother Teresa eased, whose last hours on earth she filled with love, the ground she walked on became hallowed ground. She remains one of the most revered, loved and admired figures in India, which gave her its highest award, the Bharat Ratna (the Jewel of India),” Gandhi said.