Kolkata: Hundreds of people, from nuns to school children, cutting across religious and social boundaries, took part in a procession on Sunday to celebrate Mother Teresa’s canonisation.
The colourful “Mother Walk” began from near the Loreto School in central Kolkata’s Entally and terminated at Mother House, the global headquarters of the Catholic order Missionaries of Charity founded by the Albanian nun.
Donning their signature-tune white saree with blue border, nuns of all the homes of the Missionaries of Charity in the city participated in the 2.2 km walk, that saw children carrying aloft pictures of Saint Teresa and placards saying “Mother – We Love You”. Members of the All Faith Forum joined the procession, as Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Sikh and Jain religious leaders walked shoulder to shoulder under an afternoon sun. A significant number of foreigners were part of the walk.
The rally was organised as a part of the post-canonisation celebrations to pay tribute to Saint Teresa and spread her message of peace and kindness.
An all-faith prayer, an art exhibition, and thanksgiving holy Eucharist followed by a civic tribute to St. Teresa, cultural programme and a homage to mother have also been lined up on the occasion.
Vice President Hamid Ansari will be the guest of honour at the civic tribute on October 2. The programmes would continue till October 4.
Mother Teresa – born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in Skopje, Macedonia, August 26, 1910, to an ethnic Albanian family – made Kolkata her home and workplace for 68 years since 1929. She was given the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. A year later, she received the Bharat Ratna – India’s highest award.
She was declared a Saint by Pope Francis before over 1.20 lakh devotees at the Vatican on September 4, becoming one of the fastest Saints in the history of the Catholic church.
She was earlier beatified or declared Blessed Teresa in 2003 by then Pope John Paul II, who had waived the customary five year waiting period after a person’s death before the start of the sainthood process.