Kolkata: Prayer sessions and masses were held here to observe the 21st death anniversary of Mother Teresa, a saint who is well known for her unwavering commitment to uplift the poor.
Scores of nuns and shelter house inmates residing in Mother House, which is the global headquarters of Missionaries of Charity (MoC), lit candles at the flower-adorned grave and offered prayers to the Nobel Prize winner on Wednesday.
Born in a family of ethnic Albanians in Skopje, Teresa left her home at the age of 18 and later joined the ‘Sisters of Loreto’ located in Irelands’s Rathfarnham.
Mother Teresa, whose actual name was Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, moved to India in the late 1920s and taught history and geography for 15 long years at Calcutta’s St Mary’s High School.
In 1948, Teresa decided to leave the church and adopted a lifestyle in slums to aid the poor and the needy in Kolkata. In 1950, she laid the foundation stone of the Roman Catholic religious congregation which is now popularly known as the Missionaries of Charity.
Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 but she refused to accept the award and urged the jury to contribute the prize money of USD 192,000 for helping the poor of India.
In September last year, Mother Teresa was declared Patron Saint of the Archdiocese of Calcutta by the Vatican Pope for her selfless service towards helping the underprivileged and poor in Kolkata.