India

Mother Teresa for Saint!

The angel of Calcutta

On September 4th, 2016 Pope Francis will proclaim saint a tiny nun from Albania, born in 1910 and passed away 87 years later: Mother Teresa. Just by saying that name everybody recalls immediately her minute figure, wrapped up in a white and blue sari, always with a smile on her wrinkled face. Having her name associated with the city of Calcutta (from 2001 officially known as Kolkata) is more difficult for many: it’s the place where Mother Teresa lived and worked most of her life, serving the poorest among the poorest surrounded by extreme indigence and its related violence, decay and enormous suffering.

It was that immense poverty to push Mother Teresa to move to Calcutta right after completing her novitiate and her nurse education in the North Bengal. She never left Calcutta since then. Here she started to look after and cure the sick persons she was finding on the roads, founding later the order of the Missionaries of Charity and a huge number of homeless centers, hospitals and clinics dedicated to people affected by leprosy. In many occasions Mother Teresa found herself involved in controversies, but her tireless missionary activity gained more and more credibility as time went by. She also started to be supported from personalities like Lady Diana Spencer, and in 1979 she received the Nobel Peace Prize. Hundreds of volunteers from all over the world contact Mother Teresa’s congregation headquarters in Calcutta to experience some voluntary work in one of the many centers managed by the Order. And the city of Calcutta, with its 14 millions of souls – most of them living below the poverty threshold – is still a place where the Missionaries of Charity play a fundamental role.

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