THE SANCTIFICATION OF MOTHER TERESA

Mother TERESA (Agnes Gonxhe Bojaxhiu, 1910-1997).  A Catholic missionary devoted to the poor, the sick and the needy. She was born in Skopje on 26 August 1910 in an Albanian Catholic family settled there from Shkodra. She took the first lessons at a school in Skopje and at age 18 she was handed Loreto Catholic religious order. She left Skopje in September 1928 and became a nun in Dublin, Ireland.

In November she was settled and served in Calcutta (India), where she sworn as a sister of Loreto and was named Teresa. After conducting a specialization as a member of the Loreto order, she taught at the school of this order in Calcutta and in 1937 she became the director of the school. On 17.08.1948 she left the Loreto order and put on her new uniform of Sari (white with blue ribbons) and began the mission to serve the “poorest of the poor wholeheartedly and without interest”; in that same year she received Indian citizenship.In the year 1950, with the approval of the Holy Residency,

Mother Teresa founded the “Order of Charity” and began to care for patients with leprosy. Mother Teresa, with her goodness, humanity and commitment won the hearts of over thousands of girls and women ready to enormous human sacrifices who cared for patients with serious infectious diseases. In February 1953, along with 26 of her missionaries, she opened in Calcutta the “Mother House” and in 1960 the first house for the poor outside Calcutta. This was followed by the opening of such housings in other cities of India and abroad.

In 1965, the “Charity Order” drew the attention of the Vatican, which took it as its direct subordinate. With her humanitarian services Mother Teresa became the most admired woman in the world opinion and she was honored with numerous and prestigious awards, such as “Padma Shri” (Order of the Lotus) from the President of India (1962), “On International Understanding” Award by the Prime Minister of India J. Nehru (1972), “First Prize for Progress in Religion” by the British government (1973) and Nobel Peace Prize (1979).

She used all the moral and material benefits of these awards and bonuses in support of her humanitarian action worldwide. “I know we are a drop in the ocean of misery and human suffering, but if we were not here, misery and suffering would have been even greater”, she stated. Until the year 1990, Mother Teresa had opened 456 centers in more than 100 countries worldwide. Mother Teresa could first come in Albania on 15.08.1989, to pay homage to the graves of her mother and sister buried in Tirana; she visited Albania in December 1990, March and June 1991, August 1992, April 1993 (with Pope John Paul II), September-October 1994 and June 1995.

Her mission in Albania was opened in 1991; in the same year she requested and received the Albanian passport. In the year 1996 she was awarded with the Order “Honor of the Nation”. Mother Teresa died on September 5, 1997 and she was buried in Calcutta. Two years later, in July 1999, Pope John Paul II gave special permission so that Mother Teresa enters the procedure of sanctification. For this purpose, a Diocesan committee was established. A report of 35,000 pages about the life of mother Teresa, as part of her sanctification process, was delivered to Vatican from Calcutta.

In October 2003 Pope John Paul II held a large ceremony in Vatican for the beatification of Mother Teresa. On this occasion, Vatican published a short biography of Mother Teresa, which begins with a statement of hers in 1995: “By blood I am Albanian, by citizenship I am an Indian and with my heart I belong to Jesus Christ”. Today, the Order of Mother Teresa is numbering over 4,000 missionaries, and over 100 thousand volunteers, operating in over 100 countries worldwide. On September 4, 2016, the sanctification of Mother Teresa will take place.

Issue date: 04.09.2016

The issue consists of 1 stamp

Author: Gentjan Gjikopulli

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