President’s message on the eve of canonization of Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa was an embodiment of compassion. She dedicated her entire life to serving the poorest of the poor as well as the destitute and forsaken. Mother Teresa saw herself as ‘small pencil in the hands of the Lord’ and went about her work quietly, offering smiles and warm human gestures. Always dressed in a simple white, blue border sari, Mother Teresa undertook her work with great love and commitment. Mother Teresa provided dignity and respect to those who had been defeated by life. She was a messiah of the poor and a pillar of support for the weak and suffering. Her simple manners touched the hearts of millions of people of all faiths.
Mother Teresa established the Missionaries of Charity in 1950 with the mission of caring for, “the hungry, the naked, the homeless, the crippled, the blind, the lepers, all those people who feel unwanted, unloved, uncared for throughout society, people that have become a burden to the society and are shunned by everyone”. Today, the branches of Missionaries of Charity in several countries continue their service to humanity, reaching out to the needy, regardless of their religion or social status.
Mother Teresa believed that giving something of our self is what confers real joy and the person who is allowed to give is the one who receives the most precious gift. She glorified her life with the dignity of humble service. In recognition of Mother Teresa’s selfless and dedicated services, a grateful nation conferred on her India’s highest civilian award ‘Bharat Ratna’ in 1980.
Mother Teresa often said: “What the poor need most is to feel needed, to feel loved. There are remedies and treatments for all kinds of illnesses, but when some one is undesirable, if there are no serving hands and loving hearts, then there is no hope for a true cure”. Her message of love continues to inspire millions of people around the world.
Every citizen of India will take pride in the recognition being accorded to Mother Teresa for her service to humanity and God through this Canonization. Let the example of Mother Teresa inspire all of us to dedicate ourselves to the welfare of mankind”.