Canonisation of Mother Teresa of Calcutta
On Sunday 4 September the canonization took place in Saint Peter’s Square of Anjeze Gonxhe Bojaxhiu, known to the world as Mother Teresa of Calcutta. It will be officiated by Pope Francis and is one of the most awaited ceremonies of this Jubilee of Mercy.
Her life, at the service of the sick and disinherited is a living example of her sanctity. From her first years of life in the family she worked in the Sacred Heart parish. She then chose the noviciate in the Irish Order of the Missionary Sisters of Loreto, with the objective of going to India. At first she attended the University of Calcutta, studying History and Geography and in turn teaching the children of colonials. And she did this for 20 years, dividing herself between teaching and the direction of school institutes. And, finally, “the call within the call” came, as Teresa herself described it: another call of Jesus, which convinced her to give up the comforts of her Religious Order to go down to the streets, amid the poorest of the poor. And so for 50 years, from 1946 to 1997, she was at the service of the marginalized and the sick, in the slums of Calcutta, shantytowns lacking any hygienic service, where she founded her houses of hospitality and the Order of the Missionaries of Charity, recognized by the Church in 1950.
Mother Teresa is a rare and unique phenomenon in the history of humanity. She is not only a Saint for Christians but, in a certain sense, also for atheists, unbelievers, Hindus and Muslims. She succeeded in addressing the economic, social and spiritual evils of a country like India, thanks to the development of a civilization of love, also challenging the Indian social order of castes, approaching the pariah and choosing as habit a pale blue sari, the colour of the Untouchables, the lowest in the Indian social scheme. She represents the carrying out of the fifth gospel in flesh and bone.