A week-long celebration of the life of the heralded “angel of the slums” – Mother Teresa – will begin on September 1 and culminate in the canonization Mass scheduled to take place on September 4.
The National Catholic Register is reporting on the festivities which will begin with the September 1 opening of an “Exposition of the Life, Spirit and Message of Mother Teresa” at the LUMSA Univesrity in Rome. The presentation will run until September 7.
Also on September 1, the Missionaries of Charity will provide a “family feast” for the poor who are under their care at the Santa Cecilia auditorium in Rome. The festivities will include a musical presentation of her life, entitled Mother Teresa: The Musical, created and performed by the Italian musician, author, singer and actor Michele Paulicelli.
On September 2, three consecutive Masses in honor of Mother Teresa will be held in three languages – English, Spanish and Italian – at the Basilica of St. Anastasia followed by the veneration of Blessed Teresa’s relics after each Mass. Because mercy is a major theme of her canonization, the sacrament of reconciliation will be offered during the Masses.
Later that evening, a prayer vigil with solemn adoration will take place at St. John Lateran Basilica, led by Cardinal Agostino Vallini, the vicar of Rome. The theme for the vigil will be “Radiating the Light of Christ: A Call to Holiness,” in which the faithful will pray for holy families, holy consecrated men and women, and especially for priests, the ministers of God’s mercy. Confessions will be heard throughout the vigil.
“Holiness is not the luxury of the few,” Mother Teresa once said. “It is a simple duty for each one of us.” She also called on priests to “make Jesus present and alive in the Eucharist,” or the world “cannot live, and neither we nor our families can grow into holiness.”
The following day, September 3, will begin with a special papal audience in St. Peter’s Square with Pope Francis.
In the afternoon, a prayer and meditation in music will be held in Mother Teresa’s honor at the Basilica of Sant’Andrea della Valle along with veneration of relics and a 7:00 p.m. Mass.
Her canonization Mass will begin at 10:00 a.m. the following morning and will be followed by the Angelus at noon.
The Vatican is expecting hundreds of thousands of people to attend – perhaps even more than the 300,000 who attended her beatification in 2003.
As is customary, a Mass of thanksgiving will be held the following day, which marks the 19th anniversary of her death in 1997 at the age of 87. The Mass will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. in St. Peter’s Square by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican secretary of state.
In the afternoon, her relics will again be venerated, at the Basilica of St. John Lateran from 4pm to 6:30pm, and then again from 7am until 6:30pm on Sept. 6.
An official logo for the canonization was designed by Karen Vaswani, a graphic designer from Mumbai.
More details on the canonization, including this prayer to mark the historic event, can be found at MotherTeresa.org.
In addition, a special prayer has been created to mark this historic event:
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.
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