By editor - 09 August, 2016
In the run up to the canonisation of Mother Teresa of Kolkata on 4 September, the Vatican’s Philatelic and Numismatic Office has unveiled a special postage stamp which it is releasing two days before Pope Francis officially declares the Albanian nun a saint.
The philatelic office has said it will print and sell a maximum of 150,000 sheets of 10 stamps each.
A number of events are planned around the canonisation of the ‘Saint of the Gutters’ whose special charism was to help the poorest of the poor.
A “family feast” for the poor, a musical, Masses and prayer vigils will precede her canonisation, according to programmes published by the Vatican and by the Missionaries of Charity.
The canonisation Mass will take place at 10.30am on 4 September.
Other events include:
— 1 September: “feast for the poor and Missionaries of Charity family,” including a musical based on Mother Teresa’s life.
— 2 September: Masses in various languages in Rome’s Basilica of St Anastasia al Palatino and veneration of her relics. In the evening, a prayer vigil with solemn eucharistic adoration will be held at Rome’s Basilica of St John Lateran with Cardinal Agostino Vallini, the papal vicar of Rome, presiding.
— 3 September: Catechesis by Pope Francis for the jubilee celebration of workers and volunteers for mercy. In the evening, a prayer and musical meditation will be held at Rome’s Basilica of St Andrea della Valle followed by veneration of Mother Teresa’s relics and Mass.
— 4 September: Canonisation Mass – pilgrims will be able to venerate St Teresa’s relics in the evening at the Basilica of St John Lateran.
— 5 September: Celebration of a Mass of thanksgiving and the first feast of St Teresa of Calcutta in St Peter’s Basilica with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, presiding. Pilgrims will be able to venerate the relics of St Teresa at St John Lateran in the evening.
— 6 September: Continuing veneration of the relics of St Teresa at St John Lateran.
— 7-8 September: Veneration of the relics of St Teresa of Calcutta at Rome’s Church of St Gregory the Great, along with the possibility of visiting her room at the convent of St Gregory.
Born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in 1910 to an ethnic Albanian family in Skopje, in what is now part of Macedonia, Mother Teresa came to Ireland to train as a Loreto Sister, before she was sent on mission to India in 1929.
Receiving what she described as a “call within a call,” she began her missionary work with the poor and laid the foundation for what would become the Missionaries of Charity.
Following her death in 1997, St John Paul II waived the usual five-year waiting period and allowed the opening of the process to declare her sainthood. She was beatified in 2003.