Mother Teresa declared a Saint

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times September 5, 2016 10:37

Mother Teresa declared a Saint

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  • "Albanian generations should always feel proud because we are giving the world a Saint which by blood and origin is Albanian," said President Bujar Nishani

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Mother Teresa

TIRANA, Sept. 5 - Mother Teresa has been canonized by Pope Francis becoming the first Roman Catholic of Albanian origin to be declared a saint. Speaking at a canonization Mass to more than 100,000 pilgrims who had gathered at St. Peter's Square in the Vatican City on Sunday, Pope Francis described the world famous nun who dedicated her whole life to helping the poor as a model of holiness.

"She bowed down before those who were spent, left to die on the side of the road, seeing in them their God-given dignity," the Pope said.

"For Mother Teresa, mercy was the "salt" which gave flavour to her work, it was the "light" which shone in the darkness of the many who no longer had tears to shed for their poverty and suffering," he added.

The canonization Mass was preceded by an all-Albanian concert at St. Peter's Basilica paying tribute to the world famous nun of Albanian origin.

Pop star Rita Ora, internationally renowned sopranos Ermonela Jaho and Inva Mula, captain Lorik Cana who led Albania to a first-ever appearance at a major football competition, performed in the concert.

Soprano Inva Mula starred at the premiere of "The Mother of pain," a hymn composed by Albanian composer David Tukici, dedicated to Mother Teresa.

Rita Ora

Rita Ora performed at an Albanian concert dedicated to Mother Teresa

"I am honored to have been invited, to fulfill the role as an ambassador to Kosovo, to sing at the canonization of Mother Theresa. Singing 'What Child Is This' to celebrate her life and legacy will be a moment I cherish forever," wrote Rita Ora.

President Bujar Nishani, who attended the canonization Mass, described Mother Teresa as a national symbol that makes every Albanian proud.

"We are a lucky generation that managed to witness such a historic moment which reflects the journey of a Saint as world and historical heritage but also national Albanian," said Nishani.

"Albanian generations should always feel proud because we are giving the world a Saint which by blood and origin is Albanian," he added.

In an article ahead of the canonization, Prime Minister Edi Rama described Mother Teresa as unique person that should serve as an example to the Albanian society.

"The national dimension of this unique person, who suffered because of love and absolute self-denial, with no differentiation at all, is indispensable for us Albanians," wrote Rama.

"In fact, 40 years after her blood, name and roots were denied, Albania and Albanians have a pressing need to respond welcomingly but even with repentance, to the repeated moan by mother Teresa 'By blood I am Albania,'" wrote Rama about the time Mother Teresa was not allowed to visit her family in Albania under communism.

Father Angelo Massafra, the archbishop of Shkodrà«-Pult Archdiocese in northern Albania, said Mother Teresa's canonization was a very important event for the Albanian Catholic Church and the whole of the Albanian nation.

"Mother Teresa was the mother of those who suffered and had been abandoned, the poorest of the poor. Mother Teresa is present even today with her sisters and brothers not only in nations inhabited by Christians and Catholics but also in countries where there is no Catholic at all, but there are needy people. This is the special thing about this saint who despite her religious affiliation, looked after people in need," Father Massafra told VoA in the local Albanian service.

The Albanian Catholic Community has asked the Albanian authorities to switch the celebration of the Mother Teresa national holiday from October 19, the day she was beautified, to Sept. 4, the day of her canonization.

Mother Teresa was cleared the way for sainthood last year when Pope Francis recognized a second miracle attributed to her.

Pope Francis visited Albania on Sept. 21, 2014 to promote the country as an example to the world that religious harmony works. He was the second pope to visit Albania after Pope Jean Paul II's visit in the early 1990s soon after the collapse of communist regime which banned religion.

Mother Teresa is known for her work with the poor in Calcutta, India, and won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Pope John Paul II beatified her in 2003, putting her on a path to sainthood.

Mother Teresa was born in Skopje as Agnes Gonxhe Bojaxhiu in 1910. She was born to parents who had moved to Skopje from Kosovo.

Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic religious congregation. She was the recipient of numerous honors, including the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize.

She was banned from visiting family members in Albania by the country's then brutal atheist communist regime, but she did visit as the regime fell and Albanians have commemorated her life and work ever since.

By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the Heart of Jesus." The famous saying by Mother Teresa best portrays the nun of Albanian origin, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, who dedicated her whole life to helping the poor, despite critics of her.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times September 5, 2016 10:37