Benedict XVI marks Mother Teresa’s 100th birthday


(Photo: Sister Nirmala Joshi, former superior general of the Missionaries of Charity, releases doves as nuns celebrate the 100th anniversary of Mother Teresa’s birth (CNS photo/ Deshakalayan Chowdh ur, pool via Reuters)

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta is “an exemplary model of Christian virtue” who showed the world that an authentic love for others opens the door to knowing and being with God, Pope Benedict XVI has said.

Marking the 100th anniversary of her birth, the Pope sent a message to Sister Mary Prema, the superior general of the Missionaries of Charity, the congregation Mother Teresa founded in 1950.

The Vatican released the message after it was read in Calcutta, India, at the end of a special Mass commemorating the 100th anniversary of Mother Teresa’s birth.

In Calcutta, most of the Missionaries of Charity nuns gave up their regular seats in the motherhouse chapel to accommodate hundreds of pilgrims and volunteers who arrived for the early morning Mass.

After the Mass, the bishops, priests, nuns and visitors processed to Mother Teresa’s ground-floor tomb. Sister Prema handed Cardinal Telesphore Toppo of Ranchi a lamp, and he lit a candle to mark the beginning of the centenary celebrations.

Dozens of Missionaries of Charity novices gathered around the tomb and sang “Happy Birthday”.

In his message, Pope Benedict said celebrating Mother Teresa’s birth centenary “will be for the Church and the world an occasion of joyful gratitude to God for the inestimable gift that Mother Teresa was in her lifetime, and continues to be through the affectionate and tireless work of you, her spiritual children”.

The Pope said Mother Teresa was a living example of St John’s words: “Beloved, if God so loved us, we must also love one another. No one has ever seen God. Yet if we love one another, God remains in us, and his love is brought to perfection.”

He asked the order’s sisters, brothers, priests and lay members to let God’s love continue to inspire them to give themselves “generously to Jesus, whom you see and serve the poor, the sick, the lonely, and the abandoned”, and to draw constantly from Mother Teresa’s example and spirituality.

After the visit to the tomb, Sister Prema read a message from the congregation, and the group processed to the motherhouse’s L-shaped courtyard. Sister Prema and Sister Nirmala Joshi, retired superior general of the order, released white pigeons and blue and white balloons amid cheers from those packing the balconies on the three floors surrounding the courtyard.

Similar events were planned worldwide, including at Washington’s Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

Archbishop Lucas Sirkar of Calcutta said anniversary celebrations being held throughout India had brought “a ray of hope and joy to thousands of poor, underprivileged, disadvantaged, and marginalised in India”, especially as the nation struggles with violence, injustice and natural disasters.

The events were receiving wide media coverage, which was helping make the Gospel message better understood in India, he said in an interview with Fides, the news agency of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples.


梵蒂岡電臺訊)一百年前在馬其頓的斯科普裏誕生了一位窮人的天使,她就是出自阿爾巴尼亞家庭的印度加爾各答的德肋撒修女。今天全世界以衆多的慶祝活動來紀念這個重要周年日。教宗本篤十六世在寫給德肋撒真福創于1950年的仁愛傳教女修會總會長普雷瑪修女的信中,作了上述表示。教宗在信函中寫道:“德肋撒修女是基督信仰聖德的楷模”,是賜予世界無法估量的恩典,幷且“通過你們,她的修女們親切和不知疲倦的工作”繼續這項恩典。教宗寫道:“德肋撒修女以信賴之情回應天主的召叫,在世界面前爲聖若望的話作了見證,即‘可愛的諸位,既然天主這樣愛了我們,我們也應該彼此相愛。如果我們彼此相愛,天主就存留在我們內,他的愛在我們內才是圓滿的。’但願天主的愛繼續啓發你們仁愛傳教修女們在看待窮人、病人、孤獨的人和被拋弃的人、爲他們服務時,慷慨地將自己奉獻給耶穌。”教宗在信的末尾勉勵德肋撒的修女們 “持續不斷地汲取德肋撒修女的靈修及榜樣,追隨她的足迹,接納耶穌‘來,做我的光’這一邀請。”



答:今天,在第三千年開端,我們可以說,100個因宗教迫害而死亡的人中75 個是基督信徒。因此,說“向基督信徒開戰”是有根據的。世界上沒有宗教自由的國家超過了50個。

答:根據世界觀察機關在“援助苦難教會”等機構的協助下所擬定的缺乏宗教自由國家名單上,名列前茅的肯定是朝鮮,這個國家爲無神主義國家, 所有的宗教都被禁止。在50多個沒有宗教自由的國家中,有35個是伊斯蘭教國家,這無可避免地影響到我們與伊斯蘭教國家的對話。





Message, 25. August 2010

“Dear children! With great joy, also today, I desire to call you anew: pray, pray, pray. May this time be a time of personal prayer for you. During the day, find a place where you will pray joyfully in a recollected way. I love you and bless you all. Thank you for having responded to my call.