Nuns to mark first feast day of Saint Teresa of Calcutta Sept. 5

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Photo. Mother Teresa having a good laugh with Cardinal Sin during her first visit to Manila in 1976. (RCAM photo)

MANILA, Sept. 4, 2016— Nuns belonging to the Missionaries of Charity (MC) in the Philippines will pay tribute to newly canonized Saint Teresa of Calcutta on her first feast day as a saint on Monday.

The congregation said Masses will be held in its different convents and mission centers across the country on Sept. 5, which also marks the anniversary of their founder’s death.

In Manila, a Mass at 6:00pm will be held at the Immaculate Conception Parish Church, located near the MC-run home for the sick, abandoned, and the dying distitutes along Tayuman Street in Tondo district.

There are around 120 Missionaries of Charity nuns assigned in different parts of the country.

As of 2010, Filipino nuns of the congregation number about 160 with two thirds assigned abroad and the rest in the Philippines.

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle will also preside over a Mass of thanksgiving for the canonization of Mother Teresa at the Manila Cathedral on October 7.

Fr. Regie Malicdem, rector of Manila Cathedral, said the liturgical celebration will be attended by the sisters of the Missionaries of Charity.

Pope Francis on Sunday officially declared Mother Teresa of Calcutta a saint of the Catholic Church in front of thousands of pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican.

In his homily during the canonization rites, he said that for Mother Teresa, “mercy was the salt that gave flavor to her work.”

“It was the light which shone in the darkness of the many who no longer had tears to shed for their poverty and suffering,” said Pope Francis.

“Mother Teresa, in all aspects of her life, was a generous dispenser of divine mercy, making herself available for everyone through her welcome and defence of human life, those unborn and those abandoned and discarded,” he added.

Popularly called a “living saint” during her time, Mother Teresa herself came to the Philippines in 1977 to establish her congregation’s first center in the country, the Home for the Sick & Malnourished Children in Binondo, Manila.

In 1978, she also inaugurated the Home for the Sick and Dying Destitutes in Tayuman, Tondo.

Eight years later, the Home of Joy, a facility for the sick and malnourished children located also in Tayuman was completed.

Similar centers of the MC were also put up in the Archdioceses of Lingayen-Dagupan, Caceres, Cebu, Davao, Tuguegarao and Palo, and the dioceses of Antipolo, Iba, Kalibo, Bacolod, Calbayog, and Imus.

Mother Teresa died on Sept. 5, 1997 and was beatified only six years later, on October 19, 2003. (R. Lagarde/CBCPNews)

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