International Day of Charity: Know its history and significance
- International Day of Charity: Widely known during her lifetime as the ‘living saint,’ Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity in 1950, which today has spread to different countries.
Mother Teresa's death anniversary is observed as International Day of Charity on September 5 every year. Mother Teresa, who is known for her dedication towards the downtrodden, died on September 5, 1997, at the age of 87. Mother Teresa’s followers in many parts of the world, including the Philippines, will commemorate Sunday (September 5), as her 24th death anniversary.
After her death, Mother Teresa was granted a state funeral by the government in recognition of her services to the poor of all religions in India. She was sanctified by Saint John Paul II in 2003. Pope Francis canonised her on the eve of her death anniversary on September 4, 2016.
Widely known during her lifetime as the ‘living saint,’ Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity in 1950, which today has spread to different countries.
On August 12 this year, the United Nations issued a commemorative stamp honouring Mother Teresa. On the right side of the stamp appears one of Mother Teresa’s most celebrated quotes: “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
History of International Day of Charity
The International Day of Charity was officially declared by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012. This day also got the support of the Hungarian Civil society with the support of the Hungarian parliament and government.
Significance of International Day of Charity
In 2015, during the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit, the idea of International Day of Charity was conceptualised as a way to help bridge the gap between the rich and poor and also to help the poor nations with finance to meet the sustainable development goals set for the world to achieve by 2030. September 5 was chosen as the International Day of Charity to observe the death anniversary of Mother Teresa.
Every year on her death anniversary, Mother Teresa's devotees gather at her gravesite in Kolkata, for the special thanksgiving masses and prayers, and also to offer flowers, candles and sing hymns.