For the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Mother Teresa's birth a "very moving" exhibition dedicated to the life and works of the blessed has been opened all over the planet. The Vatican's new head of bishops, who was on hand for last Thursday's inauguration in Rome, stated his appreciation for the exhibit and hoped that many would be able to see it.
"Mother Teresa: Life, Spirituality and Message" is not only open for viewing in Rome, it has been reproduced in a number of sites in at least 10 nations including the United States. The Roman exhibition was inaugurated on Aug. 26 at the Palace of the Chancellery, where the Church's "supreme court," the Apostolic Signatura, is located.
The visit begins with a biographical tour through the Missionaries of Charity (MC) foundress' life and the history of the order supported substantially by photos and copies of documents from the their official archives.
Among the most striking items reproduced on large placards is a copy of Mother Teresa's final vows, written on a single sheet of wide-ruled paper, now brown with age. Incidentally, MC sisters continue this tradition today, writing the same vows for themselves on the same style of paper.
Authentic treasures adding to the display in Rome were a handwritten prayer book from the blessed, one of her saris, a habit and a pair of worn leather sandals that she wore in the 1970s. All of these items were loaned to the display from Mother Teresa's nearby archives.
Particularly powerful to the presentation is Mother Teresa's own description, drawn from her writings, of the "darkness" she experienced during the final 50 years of her life, dating back to even before the proclamation of her final vows in 1953.
The exhibition also recounts her beatification and highlights her spirituality and the message she offered to the world through the extensive presentation of citations from her writings, a representative example being that "God works through the person who allows himself to be worked through."
Having thoroughly examined the Roman exhibition, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, who recently arrived in Rome to take up the reigns at the Vatican's Congregation for Bishops, told CNA that, in a word, the exhibition is "moving ... very, very moving.
"I hope many people will come to Rome and be touched," he said.
For those who will not be able to make it to Rome before the exhibition closes on Oct. 7, it is also on display in the U.S., Mexico, the Philippines, India and even Albania in addition to other European locales.
In the U.S. at various times during 2010, the exhibition is being presented in at least four places: at the Knights of Colombus Museum in New Haven, CT; the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C.; the St. Jude Shrine in San Diego and at St. Rita of Cascia Parish in the Bronx.