The ‘little people’ of Samar who met Mother Teresa

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Blessed Mother Teresa talks to Generosa Bernardo, grandmother of Fr. Melchor R. Ignacio, who presently serves the St. Peter of Alcantara Parish, Brgy. Taal in Bocaue, Bulacan. Ignacio has roots in Calbayog, Samar, which Mother Teresa visited in 1987, (Photo: Bernardo family)

CALBAYOG City, SAMAR, Aug. 27, 2016 – With the news of Blessed Mother Teresa’s fast approaching canonization, the people of Calbayog, reveal seemingly mundane yet fascinating details of her trip to the city in 1987.

Harold L. Mercurio, who is a university professor at Northwest Samar State University, recalled that many people made the trip to Calbayog to see the woman several were calling the “Living Saint”. Mother Teresa’s historic visit was all over local news.

Liezle Francisco, presently an employee at Christ the King College, where Mother Teresa gave a speech during her 1987 visit, remembered she was only a Grade 4 student at Calbayog Pilot School when Bl. Mother Teresa was in Samar. Francisco was one of the elementary students chosen to welcome the visiting sister at the airport.

Forever remembered

At the time, Gina Dean Ragudo was a high school student at La Milagrosa Academy, a former exclusive school for girls in Calbayog. “We’re blessed to have encountered with her,” shared the local news writer.

Nemesio Baldesco also revealed that Bernardo’s Refreshment, one of the oldest local restaurants in Calbayog, donates to a local church until today tips given to its serving staff as a way to remember and honor Mother Teresa’s 1987 visit. Baldesco, a local literary poet, learned that Mother Teresa had a meal at Bernardo’s, which is known in Calbayog for its delicious halo-halo, a dessert of shaved ice and sweet fruit preserves and other ingredients.

Its owner, the late Generosa Bernardo was an active parishioner and devotee of Mother Teresa, who helped the Missionaries of Charity.

4 days in Samar

Invited by Monsignor Basiling Rosales to visit Calbayog, Mother Teresa arrived on Dec. 31, 1986 and stayed for four days, celebrating the New Year in Samar.

While in the city, she was able to visit the Calbayog City Airport, Christ the King College, the Monastery of St. Clare, and Brgy. Oquendo.

Blessed Mother Teresa, who died on Sept. 5, 1997, is scheduled for canonization on Sept. 4. Then Pope St. John Paul II beatified her six years later, on Oct. 19, 2003. (Carl Jamie Simple S. Bordeos / CBCP News)

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