BEIRUT, Lebanon, AUG. 31, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Celebrations for Mother Teresa’s 100th birthday reached to the Middle East, with her “beloved children in Lebanon” making an “outburst of love” for the Calcutta nun.
Last Thursday’s 100th anniversary of Blessed Teresa’s birth was marked around the world. In Beirut, there was a Mass, procession and an unveiling ceremony for a three-meter (almost 10-foot) bronze statue of the founder, all organized by Lebanon’s only Catholic broadcasting station, Tele Lumiere.
The statue sits at the place where the Missionaries of Charity established their first convent in Lebanon in 1979.
The Divine Liturgy began with a large procession with a crowd surrounding the Missionaries of Charity, a crowd made up of children, the elderly and the poorest of the poor.
Monsignor Mansour Labaki presided over the liturgy.
Sister Mary Prema, superior-general of the Missionaries of Charity, sent a letter to the event, which was read by Sister Mary Clitus, superior in Lebanon.
Sister Prema recalled Blessed Teresa’s 1982 visit to Lebanon during the war.
She said: “The centenary celebration of the birthday of our Mother, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, is an outburst of love and affection from the hearts of her children all over the world. You, her beloved children in Lebanon and the Middle East, have gathered to express that love and affection in a most appropriate way by offering thanks to God in a Holy Mass. The statue of Mother Teresa is placed where the first convent was established. It will remind all of the wonderful way God showed his love for his children during the Lebanese war.”
“Placing a statue of Mother Teresa in Lebanon and the Middle East,” Sister Prema added, “is an outburst of love…”
Tele Lumiere general secretary, Antoine Saad, delivered a closing speech in the name of the TV station. He spoke of Mother Teresa as “the woman following the footsteps of the preachers and raising loudly the voice of the suffering people, the brave and strong woman.”
Finally, the Missionaries of Charity decorated the statue of their founder with flowers and read with the crowds her Prayer of Humility. Then, the procession returned to the church and Mother Teresa’ sisters celebrated with the crowds.