| Mother Teresa: Blessed
Calcutta, May 19: The Vatican has set a date for the beatification of Mother Teresa — which will be on October 19 — during celebrations to mark the Pope’s 25th anniversary as leader of the Roman Catholic church.
Confirmation came as over 50,000 faithful converged at the St Peter’s square in Rome to mark Pope John Paul II’s 83rd birthday.
The Pope, who is now the fourth longest-serving pontiff in history despite his debilitating Parkinson’s disease, will celebrate a quarter of a century in office on October 16. The following Sunday, three days later, he will beatify Mother Teresa.
A spokesperson for Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity confirmed that a special Calcutta delegation had been invited by the Vatican to participate in the three-day-long beatification ceremony.
“Some of us will be going, and we look forward to participating in the ceremony,” Sister Lynn told The Telegraph.
“The ceremony will begin with Holy Mass in the Basilica of St John Lateran on Friday, October 17, followed by an evening of solemn adoration, and further worship the following day in the Basilica of St Mary Major. Celebrations will culminate on Sunday 19, with a solemn eucharistic liturgy, and the beatification of Mother Teresa. There will be holy petitions, songs and hymns and celebration.”
Mother Teresa has been hailed as the “only Catholic more famous” than Pope John Paul. Once beatified, the Roman Catholic nun, who dedicated her life to helping the poor, will acquire the title “Blessed”.
Approval of the decision, the quickest posthumous beatification of any missionary in history, came after an act of healing attributed to her was judged an “objective and organic miracle” by the Vatican.
She is said to have cured a malignant tumour in Monica Besra, a 30-year-old tribal woman from Danogram in North Dinajpur district.
The Nobel Peace Prize-winning missionary, who died on September 5, 1997, was said to have enjoyed a “special bond” with Pope John Paul, and both took a firm stand against contraception and abortion.
Mother Teresa also supported the Pope’s opposition to the ordaining of women priests. One historian described her as an “honorary man” among the Vatican inner circle.
The founder of the Missionaries of Charity, Mother Teresa began her work in Calcutta in the 1930s.
During 60 years that saw the famine of 1943-44 and the flood of refugees from East Pakistan in 1971, she picked up thousands of destitutes from the slums when no city hospital would take the dying.