The canonization of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta is drawing near. On March 15, Pope Francis will sign the decree that will allow the small nun, icon of Christian love, to become a Saint. The date of the proclamation might be Sunday, September 4 (the anniversary of her death will recur on September 5), whereas Indian bishops have been asking for a few days now to canonize Mother Teresa in Calcutta. The ceremony can be only celebrated by the Pope and the Vatican claims that no apostolic journeys are planned to India.
“What we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop”, Mother Teresa said. She will be also the first Nobel Prize (she won the Peace Nobel Prise in 1979) who becomes a Saint. Mother Teresa was born in Albania on August 27, 1910, under the name of Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu. She became a nun at the age of 18 and moved to India where she discovered her vocation to help the last ones, people who were dying abandoned in the street.
An extraordinary figure. Among the different awards she received, there were also the Order of Merit by Queen Elizabeth in 1983, the Golden Medal of the Soviet Peace Committee in 1987 and the golden medal of the US Congress in 1997. When she died, hundreds of thousands of unfortunate people paid her homage and one million people attended her funeral. She has secretly suffered from a sense of “absence of God”, “darkness”, according to the words of the postulator of her cause, Father Brian Kolodiejchuk.
“Once Mother Teresa had started her mission on the streets of Calcutta, a new dimension began to characterize her inner experience: she no longer felt the intense union with Jesus she had experienced until that time. The consolation of His concrete presence gave way to a feeling of separation from Him. In this poignant perception of God’s absence, desire for His presence became even more acute and distressing. She was tied to Him by a burning yearning, yet in absolute darkness. Thus she was pushed to surrender to Him with blind faith.”
Pope John Paul II beatified Mother Teresa in 2003. At first, he had considered canonizing her right away, but the cardinals discouraged him to do so. Thus, the Polish Pope had asked to begin immediately the cause for Mother Teresa’s beatification, failing to comply with the five years after the death required by the Code of Canon Law.