Marking the first anniversary of Mother Teresa’s canonization, the Archdiocese of Kolkata will hold a Mass Wednesday to declare the saint a co-patroness of the local Church. She will be patron of the archdiocese alongside St. Francis Xavier.
“On 6 September we will have at 5.30 pm a Holy Mass in the Cathedral [of the Most Holy Rosary] and the Archbishop is going to declare Mother Teresa as co-patroness of the Archdiocese,” the Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity, Sister Prema, told IANS on Monday.
“We wanted to make Mother our co-patroness. We seek her intercession and give her the prominence that is due especially in a city like Calcutta and the Archdiocese of Calcutta,” said Archbishop Thomas D’Souza of Kolkata.
Sister Prema made the announcement during a two-day art presentation dedicated to St. Teresa of Kolkata. St. Teresa of Kolkata a native of what is now Macedonia, spent most of her life in India and in Kolkata in particular. She joined the Sisters of Loreto at the age of 18, and soon moved to India to begin her novitiate. Eventually she became headmistress of a school located in eastern Kolkata, but she longed to help those people severely affected by poverty.
While on her way to her order’s annual retreat in 1946, Mother Teresa experienced a call from God to leave the order and create a community amid the poor. Leaving soon after, she spent several months receiving medical training in Patna, and opened a school in the Kolkata slum Motijhil. She founded the Missionaries of Charity in 1950. St. Teresa of Kolkata died in 1997, and the order she founded now has more than 5,000 members.