Kolkata, India, Aug 26, 2019 / 15:01 pm
Hundreds of Missionaries of Charity gathered at their headquarters on Monday to commemorate the birthday of the order’s founder, Mother Teresa.
Archbishop Thomas D'Souza of Calcutta, whose birthday falls on the same day, celebrated Mass on Aug. 26 to recognize what would be the 109th birthday of Saint Mother Teresa.
“It was a splendid celebration. The 109th anniversary of the birth of our beloved Saint Mother Teresa was a moment of thanksgiving through prayer and joy,” said Father Dominic Gomes, vicar general of the archdiocese.
“The chapel was packed with people of all social origins,” he told Asia News.
The event was held at the Mother House of the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata. After Mass, an estimated 300 nuns and novices gathered around the saint’s tomb and sang “Happy Birthday.”
Catholics normally commemorate the feast day of a saint - which often corresponds with the day they died - but the Missionaries of Charity have continued to celebrate Mother Teresa’s birthday as well, even after her death in 1997. During Mother Teresa’s life, her birthday had been a major celebration at the house.
The nuns told UCA News that they celebrate Mother Teresa’s birthday in all 700 of their homes across the world. The nuns will begin a nine-day novena on Aug. 27 in preparation for the saint’s feast day on Sept. 5.
“There can be no feast day without a birthday,” one of the nuns told UCA News. “So, our birthday celebrations could be seen as preparation for the feast day.”