Kolkata Erupts in Joy for Their Beloved Saint Teresa
Traffic was thrown out of gear, as people made a beeline for the dingy lane where Mother lived for 44 years.
Nuns shed tears of joy and hugged each other, amid euphoric scenes at the Mother House, global headquarters of the Missionaries of Charity. The order’s founder Mother Teresa was declared as Saint of Calcutta by the Vatican.
Hundreds of admirers of the Albanian nun, who made Kolkata (then Calcutta) her home for seven decades to serve the poor and the infirm, gathered near the blue, three-storied building since the morning to soak in the festive atmosphere.
Outside, traffic was thrown out of gear, as people carrying blue flags, and lilies in hand, made a beeline for the small, dingy lane leading up to the freshly-painted house, where Mother lived for 44 years and also died on 5 September, 1997. Lilies and other flowers were offered at her tomb, as the devout, cutting across all religions, bent down and prayed.
The entrance to the house was bedecked with blue and white blossoms, the colours that Saint Teresa chose for the sarees to be worn by the nuns of her order.
Two giant screens in two rooms of the house beamed the ceremony at the Vatican live for the visitors, who sat under a life-size flex of a smiling Mother Teresa. There were cheers as Pope Francis was seen arriving for the celebrations at the St Peter’s Basilica in a ceremonial procession.
The crowd followed the proceedings with rapt attention, but erupted in joy a few minutes past 2 pm when the Pontiff declared that the nun would henceforth be called St Teresa.
The bells rang, some of the MoC sisters wept, some hugged, a number of them clapped and others prayed to celebrate the moment, as Mother Teresa became one of the fastest saints in Catholic history.
The honour came a day before the nun’s 19th death anniversary, and only nine days after her 107th birthday.
The Kolkata Municipal Corporation set up a white and blue canopy on the busy AJC Bose Road, close to the Mother House, and organised a ceremony on the occasion. Ministers Firhad Hakim and Sultan Ahmed were in attendance throughout to ensure everything was smooth.
(With IANS inputs)
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