Kolkata (West Bengal): A prayer meeting was conducted in memory of Saint Mother Teresa on her 22nd death anniversary at her residence in Kolkata on Thursday.
Every year on September 5, devotees of Nobel Prize winner Mother Teresa gather at her gravesite in Kolkata for the special thanksgiving masses and prayers on her death anniversary. Teresa’s followers pay tributes to her with flowers, candles and sing hymns.
During the prayers at her residence, the priest recalls her as a woman who served the poorest of the poor across the world and became the defender of the right to life for the unborn and challenged children.
Taking to Twitter, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee paid her sincerest tribute to Teresa.
“Mother Teresa (Saint Teresa of Calcutta) passed away on this day in 1997, after a lifetime of service for the poorest of the poor. Sincerest tribute to her. In her memory, the United Nations declared this day as the International Day of Charity,” she wrote.
Born in a family of ethnic Albanians in Skopje in 1910, Teresa left her home at the age of 18 and later joined the ‘Sisters of Loreto’ located in Irelands’s Rathfarnham.
Mother Teresa, whose actual name was Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, moved to India in the late 1920s and taught history and geography for 15 long years at Calcutta’s St Mary’s High School.
In 1948, Teresa decided to leave the church and adopted a lifestyle in slums to aid the poor and the needy in Kolkata.
In 1950, she laid the foundation stone of the Roman Catholic religious congregation which is now popularly known as the Missionaries of Charity.
Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, but she refused to accept it and urged the jury to contribute the prize money of USD 192,000 for helping the poor people of India.
In September 2017, Mother Teresa was declared Patron Saint of the Archdiocese of Calcutta by the Vatican Pope for her selfless service towards helping the underprivileged and poor in Kolkata.
Teresa, who died in 1997 at the age of 87, was granted a state funeral by the central government in recognition of her services to the poor across the country. (ANI)