Speaking ahead of today’s canonisation of Blessed Mother Teresa in Rome, Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland said, “Blessed Teresa is greatly loved and venerated by the faithful throughout Ireland and by millions around the world. By declaring Mother Teresa a saint, the Holy Father Pope Francis is affirming her long life of heroic virtue, and outstanding fidelity to God’s grace.”
Pope Francis will celebrate the Mass of canonisation in Saint Peter’s Square on the eve of the 19th anniversary of Mother Teresa’s death.
Archbishop Eamon continued, “Mother Teresa’s canonisation will be a source of great pride and joy to the over 5,000 Missionaries of Charity – sisters, brothers, priests and co-workers – in their 700 convents, who will rejoice wholeheartedly when Pope Francis proclaims that Mother Teresa is a saint. The Loreto Sisters in Ireland whom she joined in Dublin in 1928 and by whom she was sent to India, will also rejoice. In particular, I offer my prayerful good wishes at this time to the Missionary of Charity communities ministering in the Irish dioceses of Armagh, Dublin, Cloyne and Elphin.
“Mother Teresa was a champion of the poor and continues to be a source of inspiration to all of us, especially during this Year of Mercy we are celebrating at the invitation of Pope Francis.
“I look forward to celebrating a Mass of Thanksgiving on Monday 5 September for the Church’s newest saint. All are welcome to join me in Saint Malachy’s Church, Armagh, for this special celebration.
“With her canonisation, the Church is offering Saint Teresa of Calcutta to all of us, as a model of hope, charity and mercy.”
The Mass of Canonisation for Blessed Mother Teresa will be broadcast on RTÉ One Television this morning. Coverage will begin from 9.10am. Father Thomas McCarthy will provide the RTÉ commentary and translation for the Mass. RTÉ coverage of the Mass from Saint Peter’s, Rome, will run until 11.30am.
Cardinal Seán Brady, Archbishop Emeritus of Armagh; Bishop Donal McKeown, Bishop of Derry and pilgrims from the Diocese of Derry will also be in Rome for the canonisation. Members of the “I Thirst” prayer group from Sligo (a lay prayer group connected with the Missionary of Charities worldwide) and friends of the Missionary of Charity Sisters in Sligo will attend the Canonisation in Rome this weekend.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin will be interviewed by Dame Anne Widdecome in a BBC Songs of Praise special due to be broadcast at 5:15pm on BBC One on Sunday evening. The programme is called ‘The Making of a Saint’ and features interviews with Loreto sisters about Mother Teresa’s time in Rathfarnham, Dublin. Please see http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07v33tk.
Bishop William Crean will be celebrating the Solemnity of Saint Teresa of Calcutta, Virgin and Foundress, with the community of the Missionaries of Charity in Blarney Parish Church at 10.00am on Monday 5 September.
In the Diocese of Elphin a special viewing of the Mass of the Canonisation will take place in Gillooly Hall, Sligo at 3.00pm today with local Sisters from the Missionaries of Charity community in Sligo. On the following day, Monday, Bishop Christopher Jones, Bishop Emeritus of Elphin, will celebrate Mass for Saint Teresa of Calcutta’s Feast Day, and this will take place at 7.00pm in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Sligo. Bishop Jones met Mother Teresa in Sligo in 1996.
Born in 1910 in Skopje, Macedonia, to Albanian parents, Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu joined the Loreto Order and lived in Ireland until she was sent to India in 1929. There, she worked with the poorest of the poor, a vocation that led her to found her own order, the Missionaries of Charity, in 1950, in Calcutta (now Kolkata). By 2012, that congregation numbered 4,500 sisters, working among the destitute and outcast in 133 countries. She was regarded by many as a saint within her lifetime and Pope (now Saint) John Paul II waived the usual 5-year waiting protocol to begin the process of her canonisation. Mother Teresa was beatified in 2003.