CALCUTTA, India (CNS): It was still dark, almost an hour before sunrise on September 5, but the freshly decorated white marble tomb of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta gleamed as the feast day of the nun began.
Activities began early in the morning with the arrival of more than 150 women, men and children from slum areas where Mother Teresa had begun her mission among the poorest of the poor.
They moved, each with a lighted candle, praying the rosary in the local Bengali language and singing Bengali and Hindi songs praising God and Mother Teresa, reported the Asian church news agency UCA News.
The activities marked the 10th anniversary of the death of the world-renowned nun, who lived in this eastern Indian city of Calcutta.
The tomb, adorned with flowers and the words “Happy Feast, Mother” formed with yellow marigold petals, was lit up by the glow of candles held by people who came for the morning program.
People sang, some breaking down in tears, as they asked the help of the nun many considered a saint before her death in 1997.
Archbishop Lucas Sirkar of Calcutta led the 6am Mass in the motherhouse chapel with 12 priests.
The chapel was crowded with Missionary of Charity novices, all in white, professed nuns in their blue-bordered white saris, religious brothers, priests and people of different religions.
Mother Teresa started the Missionaries of Charity in 1950.
In an August interview with UCA News, Sr Joshi said the Vatican has cleared most formalities for declaring Mother Teresa a saint.
All that is required is “one more miracle” through Mother Teresa’s intercession, she said.
(Copyright Catholic News Service/USCCB. All rights reserved.)