Missionaries of Charity celebrating Vatican’s announcement with all-faith prayers | kolkata | Hindustan Times
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Missionaries of Charity celebrating Vatican’s announcement with all-faith prayers

Whenever Mother Teresa prayed, she prayed for all and not just Christians, said the spokesperson of the Missionaries of Charity.

kolkata Updated: Sep 08, 2017 11:07 IST
Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri
Mother Teresa died of a heart attack on September 5, 1997. She was beatified in 2003 and canonised in 2016.
Mother Teresa died of a heart attack on September 5, 1997. She was beatified in 2003 and canonised in 2016.(HT Photo)

Missionaries of Charity, the order founded by Mother Teresa in Kolkata, are celebrating the Vatican’s announcement of the Mother as a patron saint of Calcutta, but are restricting the celebrations to prayers only. Moreover, the prayer sessions include representatives of all faiths to make them as inclusive as possible.

“We are naturally delighted,” said Sunita Kumar, spokesperson of Missionaries of Charity.

Read: Photos from HT archives: A glimpse into the life of Saint Mother Teresa

“We are celebrating but the celebrations are limited to prayers and thanks giving,” she told HT.

File picture of people offering flowers at a function before the canonisation of Mother Teresa in September 2016. (Samir Jana)

On Wednesday the Vatican declared Mother Teresa (1910-1997) a patron saint of the Archdiocese of Calcutta. She was beatified on October 19, 2003 and canonised on September 4, 2016.

“On September 4 evening an all-faith prayer session was conducted which was attended by representatives from temples, mosques and gurudwaras. They assembled, talked about Mother and prayed together. This was important, since whenever Mother prayed, she prayed for all and not just for Christians,” Kumar emphasised.

After the announcement, Mother Teresa’s name will be mentioned whenever people under the archdiocese pray or a Mass is held.

Read: Book excerpt: How Raghu Rai convinced Mother Teresa to let him photograph her

The Vatican’s ambassador to India, Giambattista Diquattro, led the Mass and inaugurated a bronze statue in the church of Mother Teresa carrying a child.

About 500 people attended the Mass at a cathedral on Wednesday. Vicar General Dominique Gomes read the decree instituting her as the second patron saint of the archdiocese.

Incidentally, the Roman Catholic Church declared St. Francis Xavier the first patron saint of Calcutta in 1986.

The archbishop of Calcutta, Thomas D’Souza, said every diocese in the world has a patron saint and since Mother Teresa belonged to the city, “we decided to declare mother our patron.”

“We are very happy that Archdiocese of Calcutta has declared her as its patron, acknowledging her great work for the people,” said Sister Prema, the head of Missionaries of Charity, the order of nuns started by Mother Teresa in 1950.