Kolkata (AsiaNews) - Twelve years after her death, India remembers Mother Teresa of Calcutta with celebrations, Masses and public events. Politicians and out-castes, men and women, Christians, Hindus and Muslims in these hours are paying homage to the Blessed.
In Calcutta, in the house of the Missionaries of Charity, the order founded by Mother Teresa, hundreds of people attended Mass celebrated by Bishop Lucas Sirkar, archbishop of the capital of West Bengal at 6 am. Groups of Catholics, Muslims and Hindus are visiting the tomb of the Blessed whom bishop likened to the Virgin Mary for her 'yes' to Christ.
In Ahmedabad in the state of Gujarat, hundreds of people attended a prayer service at the "garden of Mother Teresa" where the government erected a bronze statue of the Blessed in 2005. Leading the celebration Msgr. Macwan Thomas, bishop of the city, and captain Dilip Mahajan, municipal councillor. Gujarat has long been the scene of Hindu violence against Muslims and Christians, sometimes, endorsed and supported by the government itself.
Fr. Cedric Prakash, director of Prashant, a Jesuit Human Rights organization, tells AsiaNews: "It is significant that, despite the fact that the State Government implements a very hostile policy towards minorities, there is a public place dedicated to Mother Teresa in Ahmedabad. Few cities in the country can claim this privilege”.
For the religious this "anomaly" documents the exceptional figure of the Mother and the work of the Missionaries of Charity. "Their work - said Fr Prakash - today takes on particular significance in light of the last encyclical of Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate. Mother Teresa was the embodiment of the step in which the pope, citing the Second Letter to the Corinthians, says: 'It's the love of Christ that dives us on'. That Mother Teresa was an embodiment this is stating the obvious "
The consonance between the "heart of the encyclical" and the life of Mother Teresa of Calcutta reveals itself in different parts of the text of the Pope . Fr. Prakash also cites the passage in which Benedict XVI says that feeding the hungry" is an ethical imperative for the universal Church, as she responds to the teachings of her Founder, the Lord Jesus (No. 27).
The Jesuit priest says: "This celebration of Mother Teresa should remind us that the work of mercy, charity and compassion still have a fundamental place in our being disciples of Jesus today. During her life Mother put into practice in many ways "Charity in Truth".