Now only ten days away, the canonization of Mother Teresa has Rome buzzing with activity. While Rome was not severely affected by the earthquake that has devastated central Italy, tremors were felt in the city. Pope Francis “went off scrip” during his Wednesday address, and chose instead to lead those present in a rosary for the victims of that quake. However, this disaster has not slowed the preparations for the September 4 canonization.
Beginning September 1, the Vatican will lead the world in a weeklong celebration of the life and work of Mother Teresa. According to the National Catholic Register, the week will begin
… with the opening of an “Exposition of the Life, Spirit and Message of Mother Teresa” at the LUMSA university in Rome. The exposition will last until Sept. 7.
On the evening of Sept. 1, the Missionaries of Charity will provide a “family feast” for the poor under their care at the Santa Cecilia auditorium on the Via della Conciliazione. Part of the evening’s highlights: Mother Teresa: The Musical by the Italian musician, author, singer and actor Michele Paulicelli.
Three consecutive Masses to honor Mother Teresa are scheduled for the following day in three languages — English, Spanish and Italian — at the Basilica of St. Anastasia, close to the Missionaries of Charity motherhouse and Rome’s Circus Maximus, with veneration of the relics of Blessed Teresa of Kolkata after each Mass.
Mother Teresa’s beatification (the formal step prior to canonization) drew estimated crowds of 300,000. Her canonization will certainly draw even more.
The prayer for Mother Teresa’s canonization refers to her as “carrier of Christ’s mercy and love,” befitting not only the holy woman, but the Year of Mercy as well. The prayer is as follows:
Lord Jesus, merciful Face of the Father, you came to give us the Good News of the Father’s mercy and tenderness.
We thank you for the gift of our dearest Mother, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, who will be canonized in this Jubilee Year of Mercy. You chose her to be your presence, your love and compassion to the brokenhearted, the unwanted, the abandoned and the dying. She responded wholeheartedly to your cry, ‘I Thirst,’ by the holiness of her life and humble works of love to the poorest of the poor.
We pray, through her intercession, for the grace to experience your merciful love and share it in our own families, communities and with all our suffering brothers and sisters. Help us to give our “hearts to love and hands to serve” after the example of Mother Teresa. Lord Jesus, bless every member of our family, our parish, our diocese, our country, especially those most in need, that we all may be transformed by your merciful love. Amen.
Join us as we continue to pray and prepare for this celebration of the Church’s newest saint.