India gears up for Mother Teresa canonization celebrations

Mother Teresa prayer card for WYD pilgrims in Krakow Poland on July 25 2016 Credit Kate Veik CNA Mother Teresa prayer card for WYD pilgrims in Krakow, Poland on July 25, 2016.

Mother Teresa will be canonized on Sept. 4, and a global film festival aims to screen 23 movies to mark the event.

The Mother Teresa International Film Festival will feature seven India-made movies, along with entries from the U.S., France, the U.K., Spain, Italy, Canada and Japan, Can-India News reports.

It will be held at the Calcutta state government-run Nandan multiplex, a film and cultural center in Calcutta. The Aug. 26-29 festival will open with the American documentary "Mother Teresa."

The festival is organized by the Indian chapter of SIGNIS, the World Catholic Association for Communication. The festival is planned to travel around India and then to different countries, Vatican Radio says.

Other planned celebrations for the nun's canonization include a Mass of thanksgiving to be celebrated Oct. 2 at the Netaji Indoor Stadium. Among the attendees is India's Vice President Hamid Ansari. A civic program will follow the Mass.

The state government has organized a Nov. 4 homage to the woman who will become St. Teresa of Calcutta. Other plans include the installation of a life-size bronze statue of Mother Teresa at the Bishop of Calcutta's residence.

The Albanian-born Mother Teresa joined the Sisters of Loretto at age 17 and was sent to Caluctta, India. While recuperating from an illness, she received what she called "an order" from God to leave her convent and live among the poor.

She began working in the slums, teaching poor children, and treating the sick in their homes. A year later, some of her former students joined her, and together they took in men, women and children who were dying in the gutters along the streets.

In 1950, Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity as a congregation of the Diocese of Calcutta. Mother Teresa's work and spirituality went on to draw worldwide admiration. She died Sept. 5, 1997 at the age of 87. She was beatified just six years later by St. John Paul II Oct. 19, 2003.

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