Vatican City (Fides Service) – “I am happy to join you in giving thanks to God for the beatification of Mother Teresa of Calcutta. I was bound to her by great esteem and sincere affection. This is why I am particularly happy to be here with you her spiritual daughters and sons”.
“ Mother Teresa was a missionary of charity in name and in fact” the Pope said in his address. “First of all missionary. There is no doubt that the new Blessed was one of the greatest missionaries of the 20th century. The Lord made of this simple woman who came from one of the poorest regions of Europe a chosen instrument for proclaiming the Gospel to the whole world not with preaching but with charity without limits or exclusion, without preference except for the most abandoned….Where did Mother Teresa find the strength to place herself completely at the service of others? She found it in prayer and in the silent contemplation of Jesus Christ, his Holy Face, his Sacred Heart. She herself said as much: «The fruit of silence is prayer; the fruit of prayer is faith; the fruit of faith is love; the fruit of love is service; the fruit of service is peace». Peace, even at the side of the dying, even in nations at war, even in the face of attacks and hostile criticism. It was prayer that filled her heart with Christ’s own peace and enabled her to radiate that peace to others.”
“A missionary of charity, a missionary of peace, a missionary of life. Mother Teresa was all these.
She always spoke out in defence of human life, even when her message was unwelcome. Mother Teresa’s whole existence was a hymn to life. Her daily encounters with death, leprosy, AIDS and every kind of human suffering made her a forceful witness to the Gospel of Life.
Concluding his address the Pope said: “Mother Teresa’s message, today more than ever, seems to be addressed to all. Her entire life reminds us that to be a Christian means to be witnesses of charity. This is the call of the new Blessed.” SL (Fides Service 21/10/2003 EM lines 34 Words: 427)