UN exhibition to honor of Mother Teresa’s canonization in New York

SS. Papa Giovanni Paolo II - Madre Teresa @Servizio Fotografico - L'Osservatore Romano

An exhibition showcasing the life and works of Mother Teresa, who spent most of her life in service of the destitute in India, will be organized at the United Nations headquarters next month in celebration of the Nobel Laureate being canonized on September 4.

The Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the UN, together with non-profit legal organisation ADF International, will host the exhibition dedicated to her “words, witness, and works” from September 6-9.

The exhibition will open just days after Mother Teresa, who had founded the “Missionaries of Charity”, is declared a Saint by Pope Francis at a ceremony in the Vatican on September 4.

The date chosen for her canonisation is the eve of the 19th anniversary of her death. The Pope had cleared the way for her sainthood last year when he recognised a second miracle attributed to Mother Teresa.

“Mother Teresa was a true advocate for the sanctity of life and the family,” ADF International Executive Director Doug Napier said in a statement.

“Sometimes she used words to present her ideas, but her actions and example spoke louder than her words. She acted faithfully and relentlessly. It is this passion that makes her a great role model for anyone working with or at the United Nations,” Napier said.

Napier said the exhibit should remind the world of her wisdom, outstanding work and her “radical love for every human being, the poor, the sick, the unborn, and the dying.”

The exhibition would culminate with a conference on 87-year-old Mother Teresa’s “enduring message to the international community.”

The conference will also focus on aspects of her life and work, such as caring for the poorest of the poor, advocating for peace, and leaving no one behind, ADF said.

UN Secretary General Perez de Cuellar had introduced the Catholic nun before her speech in front of the General Assembly in 1985 by saying “Mother Teresa is the United Nations” to illustrate that she embodied what the UN’s mission is supposed to be.

Meanwhile, back in India, in order to mark Mother Teresa’s canonisation ceremony in Vatican on September 4, a special postal cover will be released by the Indian postal department to honour the late Roman Catholic nun. Made of pure silk, India Post will release a special postal and numismatic cover of Mother Teresa, the first of its kind, on September 2.

“A five-rupee commemorative coin issued by the Indian government in 2010 to mark the centenary birth celebrations of the legend will be engraved on the cover. This is a special feature as it combines the two collectible items of coins and stamps,” eminent philatelist Alok K Goyal, who designed the stamps, said.

The collectors’ item will be released in a limited edition of 1,000 pieces. The Vatican Philatelic and Numismatic Office also had announced that a special 95-cent stamp featuring Mother Teresa would be released two days prior to the Sept 4 canonisation ceremony.

Besides this, the Republic of Macedonia, where Mother Teresa was born in 1910, has also announced to release a special gold-plated silver coin on the Nobel laureate. The coin will have a face value of 100 Macedonian Denars and will be released next month.

Up to 5,000 pieces of the coin will be minted for the global market out of which 50 will be made available for the Indian market, said Goyal, an international dealer in unusual stamps and coins.
At the centre of the coin is a statue of Mother Teresa dressed in her trademark plain white sari with three blue stripes along its border.

The coin also has the image of a clematis flower known as “Matka Teresa” (Mother Teresa) bred by Stefan Franczak, Polish Jesuit monk. It also carries the Latin inscription “Sancta Teresia de Calcutta” (Saint Teresa of Calcutta).

“We are hoping that this coin will be a hit not only in the Indian market but all over the world as she has her fans in every corner,” Goyal, who represents the International Coin House in India, said.

In Kolkata, where Mother Teresa had worked all her life and established the Missionaries of Charity, a life-size bronze statue of her will be installed at the Bishop House next to the statue of Pope John Paul IIon Aug 25, the eve of her birth anniversary.

Built by Church Art, a Kolkata-based firm engaged in making various works of art, the 5.5 feet long statue is made of bronze imported from Italy. The statue has been donated by Namit Bajoria, Designate Honorary Consul of the Republic of Macedonia in Kolkata. The government of Macedonia has also announced that they will mark thecanonisation of Mother Teresa with several events.

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