Monday, September 5, 2016

Mother Teresa become Saint Teresa of Calcutta (Kolkata)! Great happiness and joy!


Above pic is from Saint Peter's square in the Vatican and shows Mother Teresa with the halo around her head that is used only for (Christian) saints.

Pope Francis declares Mother Teresa as a saint, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zU8lZKoq1Rw, 2 min. 24 secs. It is Saint Teresa of Calcutta now! How deserving Mother Teresa is of this sainthood! [Note that Calcutta has been officially renamed as Kolkata some years ago by the government of (West) Bengal state (Calcutta/Kolkata is the capital of (West) Bengal state of India).]


Above pic seems to be after the canonization event is over and shows the happiness of the crowds assembled as well as that of Pope Francis, in Saint Peter's square, Vatican.


Above pic seems to be of the crowds assembled in Saint Peter's square Vatican for the event.


Above pic shows Hon'ble Minister for External Affairs (foreign minister), Smt. Sushma Swaraj who seems to have led the Indian government delegation to the event, in St. Peter's square, Vatican.

Remarks of Pope Francis at canonization (sainthood) ceremony of Mother Teresa (Saint Teresa) are given in the extract below from http://www.news.va/en/news/homily-for-the-canonization-of-mother-teresa-full.

Below, please find the full text of Pope Francis’ prepared homily for the Mass for the Canonization of St Teresa of Calcutta:

Homily of His Holiness Pope Francis
Holy Mass and Rite of Canonization of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Saint Peter’s Square, 4 September 2016

“Who can learn the counsel of God?”  (Wis 9:13).  This question from the Book of Wisdom that we have just heard in the first reading suggests that our life is a mystery and that we do not possess the key to understanding it.  There are always two protagonists in history: God and man.  Our task is to perceive the call of God and then to do his will.  But in order to do his will, we must ask ourselves, “What is God’s will in my life?”

We find the answer in the same passage of the Book of Wisdom: “People were taught what pleases you” (Wis 9:18).  In order to ascertain the call of God, we must ask ourselves and understand what pleases God.  On many occasions the prophets proclaimed what was pleasing to God.  Their message found a wonderful synthesis in the words “I want mercy, not sacrifice” (Hos 6:6; Mt 9:13).  God is pleased by every act of mercy, because in the brother or sister that we assist, we recognize the face of God which no one can see (cf. Jn 1:18).  Each time we bend down to the needs of our brothers and sisters, we give Jesus something to eat and drink; we clothe, we help, and we visit the Son of God (cf. Mt 25:40).

We are thus called to translate into concrete acts that which we invoke in prayer and profess in faith.  There is no alternative to charity: those who put themselves at the service of others, even when they don’t know it, are those who love God (cf. 1 Jn 3:16-18; Jas 2:14-18).  The Christian life, however, is not merely extending a hand in times of need.  If it is just this, it can be, certainly, a lovely expression of human solidarity which offers immediate benefits, but it is sterile because it lacks roots.  The task which the Lord gives us, on the contrary, is the vocation to charity in which each of Christ’s disciples puts his or her entire life at his service, so to grow each day in love.

We heard in the Gospel, “Large crowds were travelling with Jesus” (Lk 14:25).  Today, this “large crowd” is seen in the great number of volunteers who have come together for the Jubilee of Mercy.  You are that crowd who follows the Master and who makes visible his concrete love for each person.  I repeat to you the words of the Apostle Paul: “I have indeed received much joy and comfort from your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you” (Philem 1:7).  How many hearts have been comforted by volunteers!  How many hands they have held; how many tears they have wiped away; how much love has been poured out in hidden, humble and selfless service! This praiseworthy service gives voice to the faith and expresses the mercy of the Father, who draws near to those in need.

Following Jesus is a serious task, and, at the same time, one filled with joy; it takes a certain daring and courage to recognize the divine Master in the poorest of the poor and to give oneself in their service.  In order to do so, volunteers, who out of love of Jesus serve the poor and the needy, do not expect any thanks or recompense; rather they renounce all this because they have discovered true love.  Just as the Lord has come to meet me and has stooped down to my level in my hour of need, so too do I go to meet him, bending low before those who have lost faith or who live as though God did not exist, before young people without values or ideals, before families in crisis, before the ill and the imprisoned, before refugees and immigrants, before the weak and defenceless in body and spirit, before abandoned children, before the elderly who are on their own.  Wherever someone is reaching out, asking for a helping hand in order to get up, this is where our presence – and the presence of the Church which sustains and offers hope – must be.

Mother Teresa, in all aspects of her life, was a generous dispenser of divine mercy, making herself available for everyone through her welcome and defence of human life, those unborn and those abandoned and discarded.  She was committed to defending life, ceaselessly proclaiming that “the unborn are the weakest, the smallest, the most vulnerable”.   She bowed down before those who were spent, left to die on the side of the road, seeing in them their God-given dignity; she made her voice heard before the powers of this world, so that they might recognize their guilt for the crime of poverty they created.  For Mother Teresa, mercy was the “salt” which gave flavour to her work, it was the “light” which shone in the darkness of the many who no longer had tears to shed for their poverty and suffering.

Her mission to the urban and existential peripheries remains for us today an eloquent witness to God’s closeness to the poorest of the poor.  Today, I pass on this emblematic figure of womanhood and of consecrated life to the whole world of volunteers: may she be your model of holiness!  May this tireless worker of mercy help us to increasingly understand that our only criterion for action is gratuitous love, free from every ideology and all obligations, offered freely to everyone without distinction of language, culture, race or religion.  Mother Teresa loved to say, “Perhaps I don’t speak their language, but I can smile”.  Let us carry her smile in our hearts and give it to those whom we meet along our journey, especially those who suffer.  In this way, we will open up opportunities of joy and hope for our many brothers and sisters who are discouraged and who stand in need of understanding and tenderness.

--- end extract from news.va ----

Related tweets from Hon'ble President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, are given below. Note that President Mukherjee hails from the state of Bengal and so may perhaps have had direct knowledge about the mission of Mother Teresa.

Happy that Mother Teresa will be canonised by Pope Francis tomorrow at Vatican City #PresidentMukherjee, https://twitter.com/RashtrapatiBhvn/status/772101840125194240, Sept. 3rd 2016.

Mother Teresa was an embodiment of compassion #PresidentMukherjee

Mother Teresa dedicated her entire life to serving the poorest of the poor as well as the destitute and forsaken #PresidentMukherjee

Mother Teresa provided dignity and respect to those who had been defeated by life #PresidentMukherjee

She was a messiah of the poor and a pillar of support for the weak and suffering #PresidentMukherjee

She glorified her life with the dignity of humble service #PresidentMukherjee

Mother Teresa’s message of love continues to inspire millions of people around the world #PresidentMukherjee

Let the example of Mother Teresa inspire all of us to dedicate ourselves to the welfare of mankind #PresidentMukherjee, https://twitter.com/RashtrapatiBhvn/status/772102351729688577, Sept. 3rd 2016
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Related tweet of Hon'ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi

Sainthood of Mother Teresa is a memorable & proud moment. Had shared my views on it in detail during #MannKiBaat. https://twitter.com/narendramodi/status/772394198112886784, Sept. 4th 2016.

The above tweet also links to a 1 min 17 sec Mann Ki Baat (regular PM Modi address to country citizens on radio) Hindi audio (referred in above tweet). Here's that audio link, https://soundcloud.com/narendramodi/pm-modi-pays-tribute-to-mother-teresa.

I have given below a Hindi language transcript of it (in Latin (English) script) followed by my English translation of the same.

Mera pyaare deshvaasiyon. Bharat Ratna Mother Teresa. Chaar Setember (ko) Mother Teresa ko Sant ki upaadhi se vibhushith kiya jayega. Mother Teresa ne apna pura jeevan Bharat me garibo ki seva ke liye jata diya. Unka janma to Albania me hua tha. Unki bhasha bhi angreji nahi thi. (Lekin) unhone apne jeevan ko (dhada?), garibo ki seva ke yogya banane ki bharpur prayaas ki. Jinone jeevan bhar Bharat ke garibo ki seva ki ho aise mother Teresa ko jab Sant ki upaadhi praapt hoti hai to sabh Bharatiyon ko garv hona swaabhaavik hai. Chaar setember ko ye samaroh hoga. Usme sava sau karod deshvaasiyon ke taraf se Bharat sarkar, hamari videsh mantri Sushma Swaraj ke (advaayi?) mein ek adhikaari pratinidhi mandal bhi wahaan bhejegi. Santo se, rishiyon se, muniyon se, mahapurushon se har pal hame kuch na kuch sekhne ko milta hi hain. Hum kuch na kuch paate rahenge, seekhte rahenge aur kuch na kuch acchha karte rahenge.

My rough English translation of the above:
My dear countrymen (and countrywomen). Bharat Ratna Mother Teresa [Ravi: From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bharat_Ratna, "The Bharat Ratna (Jewel of India) is the highest civilian award of the Republic of India. Instituted in 1954, the award is conferred "in recognition of exceptional service/performance of the highest order", without distinction of race, occupation, position, or sex". Mother Teresa is listed in this wiki page as the 1980 Bharat Ratna awardee.] On 4th September Mother Teresa will be honoured with the title/status of Saint. Mother Teresa dedicated her whole life to serve the poor of Bharat (India). She was born in Albania. Her language too was not English. But she (toughened/prepared?) her life and made great efforts to make it (her life) suitable for service to the poor. When one like Mother Teresa who has served the poor of Bharat (India) her whole life, is getting the title/honour/status of a saint, it is natural that all Bharatiyas (Indians) will be proud. This function/event will be on 4th September. In that (function/event), as a representative of one and a quarter billion countrymen (and countrywomen) Bharat (Indian) government, under the (direction?) of foreign minister Sushma Swaraj will send an official representatives group. Every moment, we get to learn something or the other from saints, sages and great souls. We will keep getting something or the other, will keep learning and will keep doing something good.
--- end English translation of PM message on Mother Teresa ----



Above pic seems to be of Indian Hon'ble President Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy awarding Bharat Ratna to Mother Teresa in 1980.
Pic Courtesy: http://lalitkumar.in/blog/biography-of-mother-teresa-life-and-achievements-of-mother/
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Hon'ble Minister for External Affairs (Foreign minister) Sushma Swaraj seems to have led the Indian government delegation for the canonization event. Some tweets and the pics attached to the tweets, from her related to the event, are given below.

Indian delegation called on @Pontifex at the Vatican. https://twitter.com/SushmaSwaraj/status/772822369714995200, Sept. 5th 2016



With the Pope in Vatican on 4 September 2016. https://twitter.com/SushmaSwaraj/status/772760875820167168, Sept. 5th 2016




With Sister Sally - Fr Tom was abducted by terrorists. Sister Sally was rescued from Yemen.  https://twitter.com/SushmaSwaraj/status/707215961829453824 …, https://twitter.com/SushmaSwaraj/status/772463148469063682, Sept. 4th 2016





With the Pope in Vatican. https://twitter.com/SushmaSwaraj/status/772449979617021952, Sept. 4th 2016


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Ravi: I am so glad that President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj, all Hindus, have given such unstinted praise for Mother Teresa and have so warmly welcomed her being made (Roman Catholic Christian) Saint Teresa. Note that Mother Teresa was an Indian citizen (she became Indian citizen in 1948).

Few media articles on the canonization event are given below.

a) Mother Teresa declared a saint: Everything that you need to know, http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/mother-teresa-vatican-pope-francis-missionaries-of-charity-attains-sainthood-as-it-happened-3013533/, Sept. 4th 2016

b) Tears of joy, emotion, euphoria overtakes Mother House as Teresa becomes Saint, http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/tears-of-joy-emotion-euphoria-overtakes-mother-house-as-teresa-becomes-saint-116090400610_1.html, Sept. 4th 2016

c) As it happened: Mother Teresa is now St. Teresa of Calcutta, http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/live-canonisation-of-mother-teresa/article9072137.ece, Sept. 4th 2016
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For those who feel inspired by noble teachings like Love All Serve All, and Paropakaaram Idam shariram (this body has been given for service to others), I think the below two articles on Mother Teresa (now Saint Teresa) are MUST READ articles.

1) Kolkata Testifies to the Grace of Mother Teresa, Its New Saint, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/05/world/asia/mother-teresa-kolkata-canonization-saint.html, New York Times, Sept. 4th 2016

The above article covers, in addition to other acts of love & care from Mother Teresa and her followers, how Mother Teresa showered her love on the trinket sellers outside her hospice. When the govt. planned to shut down the trinket stalls she protested in writing which blocked the move. A trinket seller is quoted as saying, "She is the mother of all shopkeepers. She showered love on each and every person on this street".

2) A journey to sainthood, http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/a-journey-to-sainthood/article9066515.ece, The Hindu, Sept. 3rd 2016

An extract from it:

She [Ravi: Mother Teresa] found that the route to India lay in her joining the Loreto Order of teaching nuns, who were headquartered in faraway Calcutta. Here she taught for close to 20 years before her true calling propelled her to serve the poor in the streets and slums. The Vatican, fantastically, gave her permission to step outside the Cloister, not as a lay worker but with her religious vows intact, to set up her own order, the Missionaries of Charity. In 1948, Calcutta’s pavements were swarming with teeming millions uprooted by the Partition, who had joined the hapless sufferers of the Great Bengal Famine. Into this sea of tragedy, homelessness, disease and despair stepped a 38-year-old nun, dressed not in a recognisable nun’s habit, but a sari similar to what the municipal sweepresses wore. She had no companion, no helper and no money to speak of. What she did have was a secret calling that her God wanted her to leave the security of the Loreto Convent and minister to Him in his distressing disguise of the poorest of the poor, the abandoned infant, the leprosy sufferer shunned by society and the dying destitute.

At a time when the Raj had left no health care to speak of (1948), she confronted death at every turn. She did what was to become her hallmark. Finding a man dying in the street, she took him to a public hospital, which refused to admit him, precisely on the grounds that since he was about to die they would not waste a hospital bed on a life they said they could not save! Only when she sat before the hospital on a dharna did they relent. The man died within a few hours. It was then that she began to search for a place where she could take those people whom hospitals refused, where she could nurse them — she had some medical training — and they could at least die being comforted and with some dignity. She begged various authorities, and finally an officer in Calcutta Municipality gave her a pilgrims’ hall adjacent to the Kalighat temple, where she requested the police and municipal authorities to bring her all and any of those dying whom the hospitals refused. That policy continues.
--- end extract from The Hindu article ---

Ravi: After I had quit from the Sai university in March-June 2012, as I was going through a period of drift in my life in (outside ashram) Puttaparthi, I read Navin Chawla's (former Election commissioner of India) authorised biography of Mother Teresa [Navin Chawla is the author of the above mentioned article of The Hindu]. That was a huge inspiration for me in that drift phase of my life. I strongly recommend that book for any who would like to get an idea of what challenges Mother Teresa went through as she set about her mission to serve the poor. In comparison to those challenges that she (and some of her followers/companions in her mission) went through, whatever problems I had in that period of drift after I quit the Sai university in March-June 2012, seemed like minor pin-pricks!
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Above pic shows Mother Teresa with Pope John Paul II with whom, it is said, she had developed a close & special relationship that allowed her to prompt Pope John Paul II to permit her to open a soup kitchen in the Vatican for the homeless and hungry poor of Rome!

[I thank The Hindu, news.va (Vatican) and New York Times and have presumed that they will not have any objections to me sharing the above extracts from their websites (very short quote extract from New York Times) on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever. I also thank AP and other agencies who may have taken the photographs that I have put up in this blog post and have presumed that they will not have any objections to my sharing it on this free blog.]

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