People in eastern India’s Kolkata city on Friday marked the 106th birthday of Blessed Mother Teresa with prayers Friday, less than 10 days before she is to be raised to the glory of the altar as a saint on Sept. 4. The day, Aug. 26 started with Mass by Archbishop Thomas D'Souza of Calcutta, attended by the over 300 co-workers, volunteers, laypeople and nuns of the Missionaries of Charity, the congregation Mother Teresa founded in Kolkata, formerly Calcutta, to serve the poorest of the poor. Archbishop D'Souza said Mother Teresa's life was one of sacrifice and love, empowered and strengthened by her faith.
Kolkata city also kicked off the fourth Mother Teresa International Festival on Friday, showcasing 23 films from 15 countries exclusively on Mother Teresa. "The objective of this festival is to spread Mother Teresa's message to the world, raise awareness and sensitize people about her work and good deeds," Sunil Lucas, SIGNIS India president and the film festival director told UCANEWS regarding the 4-day festival. A statue of Mother Teresa was also scheduled be unveiled at Bishop's House in Kolkata by West Bengal state chief minister Mamata Banerjee later in the evening. Mother Teresa will be declared a saint by Pope Francis at a canonization ceremony in Rome, Sept. 4, which will be attended by an Indian government delegation, including Mamata Banerjee.