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Special prayers in Kolkata to mark Mother Teresa's birth centenary

By Abdul Nisar

Kolkata , Aug 26 (ANI): Thousands of devotees thronged the headquarters of Missionaries of Charity here on Thursday, to mark the 100th birth anniversary of Mother Teresa with a special mass.

The doors of Mother House, where the ethnic Albanian nun lived and died, were left open at dawn and hundreds of slum dwellers from the city walked in.

Holding candles, they knelt before Mother Teresa's tomb in one of the sprawling halls of the building and prayed as nuns clad in traditional white saris with blue borders joined them.

Mother Teresa made Kolkata her home and opened several homes, including one for those who were old and dying and the other for destitute children.

Archbishop of Kolkata, Lucas Sircar, led a special mass where rich and poor sat together in prayer.

As people sang hymns, Sister Prema, the superior general of the order, said she hoped that Mother would once again touch their hearts with love of God and the poorest of the poor.

"Many of us present here have personally met Mother. We have experienced the look of her eyes, the warmth of her smile and her loving touch. We were left with the deep peace and desire to make our life something beautiful for God. I pray that today, mother may touch us once again and set our hearts on fire with love of God and of the poorest of the poor," Sister Prema said.

A series of events including photo exhibition on her life, a film festival screening documentaries and films based on her life is being held to mark the centenary celebrations.

Mother Teresa, died on September 5, 1997 at the age of 87, was known for her extraordinary love and dedication to poor, homeless and diseased people.

She came to India in 1929 at the age of 18 and took up teaching, and became an Indian citizen in 1948.

Mother Teresa received several national and international awards for social service during her lifetime.

They included the Bharat Ratna, the Magsaysay Award in 1962, the Pope John XXIII Peace Prize in 1971, the John F. Kennedy International Award in 1971 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. By Sankho (ANI)

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