Whole World Readies for Mother Teresa's 100th Birthday

Celebrations Draw Missionaries, Nonbelievers

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CALCUTTA, India, AUG. 20, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Mother Teresa of Calcutta would have turned 100 years old next Thursday. The order she founded Missionaries of Charity, as well as faithful and nonbelievers from around the world are joining in preparation for the anniversary.

«Her life and work continue to be an inspiration for young and old, rich and poor from all walks of life, religions and nations,» wrote Sister Mary Prema, the superior-general of the Missionaries of Charity since 2009.

The sister’s Aug. 8 letter recommends: «Let us celebrate Mother’s birth centenary by sharing the joy of loving and being loved. Let us pray to know better God’s love for us.»

In addition to the release of another book, «Where There Is Love, There Is God,» which offers writings from Blessed Teresa, a host of activities have been planned around the world.

A Mother Teresa postage stamp will go on sale in the United States on Thursday, with similar initiatives in Austria, Kosovo and Monoco. France has coined four collector-edition coins, one showing Mother Teresa with Pope John Paul II.

The Mother Teresa Express Train will be launched on her birthday in India; and on the Niagara River in New York, the Peace Bridge will be lit with blue and white, the colors of the Missionaries of Charity.

Obviously a range of spiritual activities will also mark the day.

In Rome, Cardinal Angelo Comastri, archpriest of St. Peter’s Basilica, will preside over a Mass in the Basilica of St. Lawrence in Damascus.
Religious congregations and contemplative communities in Rome founded by Blessed Teresa, as well as volunteers, benefactors and persons staying in the Roman convents, will attend the Mass.
The celebration will be preceded by the opening of an exhibition of photographs, titled Blessed Teresa of Calcutta: Life, Works, Message.

Cardinal Ivan Dias, prefect of the Congregation of Peoples, will mark her liturgical feast: There will be a vigil of prayer on Saturday, Sept. 4, and a Eucharistic celebration on Sunday, Sept. 5.

Mother Teresa relics will be displayed for veneration in the midwest United States and Canada. And many novenas will be held in Calcutta and in other places.

An extensive list of celebrations and initiatives can be found at the Web site of the Mother Teresa of Calcutta Center.

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More information: www.motherteresa.org/layout.html

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