India: thousands celebrate Mother Teresa's anniversary

 The anniversary of Mother Teresa's birthday was marked yesterday by special celebrations in Calcutta. Hundreds of people from all backgrounds, streamed into the headquarters of the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta to pay their respects. There were special prayers, a homage dance and a vocal classical concert dedicated to the Mother, who was beatified on October 19, 2003. Recent revelations about her personal crisis of faith, to be brought out in a book to be published in September, won't hamper her path to sainthood, Sister Nirmala, Mother's successor, said yesterday. The crisis Mother Teresa experienced was understandable, she said, because of the perpetual challenges she lived with. The incredible journey of Mother may have ended on September 5, 1997, but she continues to be one of the most inspiring figures of our time. Focussing attention on the deprived and marginalized, without any political considerations, the Missionaries of Charity work in the worst battlefields: in Baghdad, West Asia and Afghanistan as well in the world's rich cities.. The sisters are planning to open their first home in China soon. In the past decade, under Sister Nirmala, the order has opened 166 new centres. The number of volunteers, is growing steadily. And donations too have been increasing. At 54A Acharya Jagdish Chandra Bose Road, Mother's home, the nameplate outside 'Mother Teresa, MC' is now permanently 'IN'. And the room where she lived remains as it is. The simple chair and study table, and her other humble belongings are all there, intact. Amidst all that, the towering spiritual presence of Mother is very palpable. For her believers, Mother has never left her favourite city. Source: Indian Catholic Bishops Conference

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