The 109th birth anniversary of Mother Teresa was celebrated today across the country while at the Missionaries of Charity(MOC) in Kolkata, the event was marked by lighting of candles by a gathering of nuns and the launch of a book at the Mother’s tomb, titled Touch of Love.
A gathering took place in the morning wherein candles were lighted and prayers were offered in the honour of Mary Teresa Bojaxhiu or commonly known as Mother Teresa, who was born in Albania on 26 August, 1910. A book, by a photojournalist, Sucheta Das, titled Touch of Love, captured several moments of Mother Teresa attending to the sick and the poor, through photographs.
The book that was launched by Sister Prema, superior general of Missionaries of Charity, encapsulated the works of MOC.
Extracts from the book’s foreword, written by eminent photojournalist, Raghu Rai, read “The Mother, I met in 1970 when she was little known and the mother who became the Bharat Ratna and a Noble laureate, and who left us in 1997, was the same humble, compassionate, loving and committed to the causes of sewa (service) for the poorest of the poor.”
“Mother Teresa, who comes to Kolkata to teach in a convent school, removes the robes of a teacher and decides to become our Mother. It was way back in 1950s, walking through the lanes and by-lanes of Kolkata, seeing the sufferings of the unwanted and migrant families thronging the footpaths, she decided to start Missionaries of Charity from a very moderate place.”
The foreword also mentioned, “The sisters carry the legacy with the same commitment and faith to look after the poorest of the poor without any discrimination in terms of cast, creed, and religion.”
Sucheta Das, the author of Touch of Love, recalling her first encounter with Mother, wrote: “The year was 1995 and winter back then was a lot crueller than it is now. Freshly graduated from high school, I enrolled myself in a college which seemed fit. Soon after a minor operation, saw me checking myself into a nursing home in the city. I had a nun from the Missionaries of Charity in the cabin next to mine. Post-operation, as I was still under anaesthetic influence, it was heartbreaking to fathom the idea that Mother Teresa’s visit to the sick nun didn’t include me making any kind of acquaintance with her.”
Soon after, the author met Mother when she next visited the ailing nun and described it as a “surreal experience to physically lay in-front of the Human Goddess.”
Ms Das said: “Mother’s work has always inspired me. The way in which the Sisters, after Mother, are carrying on her legacy through their service to the poor, is commendable.”
In the context of present world scenario, I personally want to say that one should listen to Mother’s words which always condemned violence and preached the word of love.”