MANILA – Relics of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who will be canonized as Saint by Pope Francis at the Vatican this coming Sunday, can be viewed at the Our Lady Veritas Chapel in Quezon City for public veneration,especially by Filipino Catholics.
Aside from the relics, a huge statue of Mother Teresa, known for her passion of helping the poorest of the poor, the sick and the downtrodden when she was alive, is also on display.
The photos of Blessed Teresa on display include caring and feeding of the sick in India where she lived most of herlife until her death on Sept. 5, 1997 at aged 87.
There are also pictures of Mother Teresa with the late Jaime Cardinal Sin and former President Corazon Aquino.
Veneration time is from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily until Sept. 4, the day of canonization by Pope Francis in Rome.
The Veritas Chapel is located at the corner of E. DelosSantos Avenue (EDSA) and West Avenue in Quezon City.
This will give Filipino Catholics the rare opportunity tovenerate the relics of the soon-to-be St. Teresa of Calcuttaprior to her canonization on Sunday.
Adding significance to Mother Teresa’s canonization isthat it coincides with the Year of Mercy declared by PopeFrancis.
Brief history of Blessed Mother Teresa
During her lifetime, Mother Teresa touched the lives of millions of people of all faiths around the world with her humility by ministering to those gravely sick and abandoned, feeding and embracing them as her simple and sincere way of caring for them.
Born to an ethnic Albanian family in Skopje, Yugoslavia, now Macedonia, she went to India in 1929 as a Sister of Loreto and became an Indian citizen in 1947. She founded theMissionaries of Charity in 1950.
Her humanitarian work was so astonishing that touched thelives of millions that shortly after her death in 1997,Pope. John Paul II waived the usual five-year waiting periodbefore the start of the beatification rites and allowed theopening of the process to declare towards sainthood.
She was beatified in 2003 after which a book about her was published by the Missionary of Charity entitled “Come BeMy Light.” It narrated “how, for decades, she experienced what is described as a ‘dark night of the soul’ in Christianspirituality. She felt that God had abandoned her. While the letters shocked some people, others saw them as proof of her steadfast faith in God, which was not based on feelings or signs that He was with her.”
The date for her canonization is the eve of the 19thanniversary of her death and the date previously establishedat the Vatican for the conclusion of the Year of Mercypilgrimage of people like her who are engaged in works ofmercy.
Mother Teresa was born Gonxha (Agnes) Bojaxhiu in Skopje,Yugoslavia, on Aug. 27, 1910. She was the youngest of fivechildren. Her parents were Nikola and Dronda Bojaxhiu. Of the five siblings, only three survived: Gonxha; anolder sister, Aga, and brother Lazar, who described the family as well-off.
Nikola was a contractor, working with a partner in asuccessful construction business. He was also heavilyinvolved in the politics of the day. Lazar tells of hisfather’s rather sudden and shocking death, which may havebeen due to poisoning because of his political involvement.
With this event, life changed overnight as their motherassumed total responsibility for the family — Aga, only 14,Lazar, 9, and Gonxha, 7.
Mother Teresa was 18 when she thought of becoming a nun and chose the Loreto Sisters of Dublin. As a nun she had an unwavering commitment to God and her self-discipline was always part of her life to serve the Lord and the poor and the sick living in slum areas in India.
Despite her busy schedule daily that made her exhaustedserving the poor, “she never omitted her prayer, findingit the source of support, strength and blessing for all herministry.”
In fact, until she died, Mother Teresa continued her workamong the poorest of the poor, depending on God for all ofher needs that made her worthy to be a saint.
Mother Teresa breathed her last after taking her dinner and prayers on Sept. 5, 1997 and met her Creator, who was always the center of her earthly life. Ben Cal/PNA/northboundasia.com