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Courtesy of Holy See Press Office Director, Alessandro Gisotti

‘We Thank God for the Life & Charism of Saint Mother Teresa,’ Pope Prays, Pays Homage to Her in Skopje, North Macedonia

Francis Prays She Pray for Church in Macedonia and for All Who Wish to Follow Christ (FULL PRAYER)

“We thank you for giving us the life and the charism of Saint Mother Teresa.”

Pope Francis prayed this to God in a special prayer he said, in honor of the beloved saint born in the North Macedonian capital of Skopje, during his 10-hour visit to Macedonia, marking the first visit ever made by a Pontiff to the country.

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Francis, at about 10 am this morning, visited the Mother Teresa Memorial, where he was welcomed by the Mother Superior, the Sisters of Mother Teresa and by a child who gave him flowers.

The Holy Father placed a floral tribute down at the statue of Saint Teresa of Calcutta.

Later, Francis reached the chapel, where two relatives of Mother Teresa and leaders of the religious communities present in the country were gathered, and prayed before the relic of the Macedonian-born saint on the altar.

The Holy Father recited the prayer, whose full text can be found below, in honor of Mother Teresa.

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In the prayer, Francis recalled that she was able to do much good to those in greatest need, “for she saw in every man and woman the face of your Son.”

“Docile to your Spirit,” Francis recalled, “she became the prayerful cry of the poor and of all those who hunger and thirst for justice.”

The Holy Father pleaded to Saint Mother Teresa, by name, calling her ‘mother of the poor,’ asking for her special intercession and help, here in the very city where she was born, and had her home.

“May he grant us the grace to become signs of love and hope in our own day,” Francis said, praying he grant “that our love not only be on our lips, but that it be effective and genuine, so that we may bear credible witness to the Church whose duty it is to proclaim the Good News to the poor, freedom to prisoners, joy to the afflicted and the grace of salvation to all.”

“Saint Mother Teresa,” the Holy Father concluded, “pray for this city, for this people, for its Church and for all those who wish to follow Christ, the Good Shepherd, as his disciples, by carrying out works of justice, love, mercy, peace and service.”

After greeting relatives of Mother Teresa and religious leaders, the Holy Father reached the courtyard where there were about 100 poor people assisted by the Missionary Sisters of Charity. Pope Francis blessed the cornerstone of the Shrine of Mother Teresa.

Following the final blessing, Pope Francis traveled to Macedonia Square, where he would celebrate Mass, the first papal Mass ever to take place in Macedonia.

We publish below the text of the prayer of the Holy Father in honor of Mother Teresa:

***

God, Father of mercy and all goodness,

we thank you for giving us the life

and the charism of Saint Mother Teresa.

In your boundless providence, you called her

to bear witness to your love

among the poorest of the poor in India and throughout the world.

She was able to do much good to those in greatest need,

for she saw in every man and woman

the face of your Son.

Docile to your Spirit,

she became the prayerful cry of the poor

and of all those

who hunger and thirst for justice.

Taking up the words uttered by Jesus on the cross:

“I thirst” (Jn 19:28),

Mother Teresa sated

the thirst of the crucified Lord

by accomplishing works of merciful love.

Saint Mother Teresa,

mother of the poor,

we ask for your special intercession and help,

here in this city where you were born,

where you had your home.

Here you received the gift of rebirth

in the sacraments of Christian initiation.

Here you heard the first words of faith

in your family and in the community of the faithful.

Here you began to see

and meet people in need,

the poor and the helpless.

Here you learned from your parents to love

those in greatest need and to help them.

Here, in the silence of the church,

you heard the call of Jesus to follow him

as a religious in the missions.

Here in this place,

we ask you to intercede with Jesus,

that we too may obtain the grace

to be watchful and attentive to the cry of the poor,

those deprived of their rights,

the sick, the outcast and the least of our brothers and sisters.

May he grant us the grace to see him

in the eyes of all who look

to us in their need.

May he grant us a heart capable of loving God

present in every man and woman,

a heart capable of recognizing him in those

who experience suffering and injustice.

May he grant us the grace

to become signs of love and hope in our own day,

when so many are poor, abandoned,

marginalized and migrants.

May he grant that our love not only be on our lips,

but that it be effective and genuine,

so that we may bear

credible witness to the Church

whose duty it is to proclaim the Good News to the poor,

freedom to prisoners, joy to the afflicted

and the grace of salvation to all.

Saint Mother Teresa, pray for this city,

for this people, for its Church

and for all those who wish to follow Christ,

the Good Shepherd, as his disciples,

by carrying out works of justice, love,

mercy, peace and service.

To follow him, who came not to be served but to serve,

and to give his life for many:

Christ our Lord.

Amen.

[Blessing of the First Stone]

[00748-EN.01] [Original text: Italian]

About Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is a Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in four languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, at times from the papal flight, and has done television and radio commentary, including for Vatican Radio and BBC. She is a contributor to National Catholic Register, UK Catholic Herald, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside the Vatican, and other Catholic news outlets. She has also collaborated with the Vatican in various projects, including an internship at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and is a collaborator with NBC Universal, NBC News, Euronews, and EWTN. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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