Blessed Mother Teresa


Public cult in honor of blessed Teresa of Calcutta
Prayer to Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

Prayer for her canonization

What is a saint?

What is beatification/ canonization?
From Blessed to Saint.
What is the feast day of a saint or a blessed?

What is a saint?


A saint is a disciple of Jesus Christ, who lived a life of extraordinary fidelity to Him. The Saints are people who were united to God in this life and who strove to do His will in everything, devoting themselves to the glory of God and to the service of their neighbor. They lived the virtues to a heroic degree and give us shining examples of: faith, hope, and love, both of God and every human being; prudence (or practical wisdom), justice, fortitude (or courage), and temperance (or self-mastery); detachment, purity, and obedience; humility, simplicity and magnanimity. Each saint is distinguished for particular virtue and for this reason, the Church proposes them as friends and companions in our  following of Christ, as models to imitate, and as intercessors with God.   
Mother Teresa was known around the world for her whole-hearted and free service to the poorest of the poor, a virtue which lifted the hearts of many to God and inspired many to imitate her.

What is beatification/ canonization?


The canonization of a saint is a solemn act by which the Pope, the supreme authority in the Catholic Church, declares that a person practiced heroic virtue and lived in fidelity to God’s grace, is with God in heaven and is to be venerated throughout the whole Church. The Pope enrolls the person on the list of Saints. Another word for list is “canon,” hence the term “canonization.” The expression, “raised to the altars,” often used as an equivalent of “canonization,” means that the person is assigned a feast day in the yearly schedule of the Church’s liturgical celebrations. This assigning of a feast day is done at the time of beatification.

Beatification is a step in the process of canonization. By it the Pope allows public veneration of the person in the local Church, within the religious congregation with which he or she was associated, and in other places by those who receive such permission. Note the difference: a Saint should be honored in liturgical celebrations by the universal, that is, the whole Church, whereas a “Blessed” may be so honored in certain places.

  Mother Teresa was beatified on 19 October 2003 by Pope John Paul II at St. Peter’s square in Rome. She is honored in all the dioceses in India and by all the members of the religious family she founded, the Missionaries of Charity.


A miracle is an extraordinary event, which is scientifically inexplicable and, in a cause for canonization, is directly attributable to the intercession of the Servant of God. In the causes of saints, the miracles investigated are usually cures, because they are more easily documented. Miracles and graces or favours, granted after prayers to the Servant of God, serve as evidence that God Himself is the origin of that person’s reputation of holiness. A miracle is a sign of divine approval. Miracles confirm that it is God who has aroused in the faithful the opinion that a particular Servant of God is worthy of canonization. An event proposed as a miracle is subjected to a thorough scientific investigation by experts. For beatification one authentic miracle must be recognized as obtained through the intercession of the Servant of God.

From Blessed to Saint

A Servant of God who is beatified is called “Blessed.” The Blessed may be canonized after the occurrence of one more miracle attributed to his or her intercession.
In Mother Teresa’s cause, we are waiting for a second miracle required for the canonization.
The Purpose of Canonization. By honouring its children who lived as heroes of faith and love, the Church recognizes the power of the Holy Spirit within her. Saints give us joy; their example sustains our hope; and their friendship increases our love and union with God and with each other. A canonization is a way of giving thanks to God as we honor the person who has been so faithful to God’s plan in his or her life.

What is feast day?

The feast day of a saint or a blessed is a day set apart by the Church at the time of Beatification for giving special honor to the particular saint or blessed. On this day, we celebrate the memory of the Blessed or Saint, honouring his or her life, work and virtue and offer thanks to God for the wonders He has accomplished in history through this particular saint. In commemorating the feast of a Blessed or a Saint, we rejoice in the gift of his/her life lived for God in the service of His people and his/ her birth into heaven. We also draw inspiration and strength from the example of their virtues and unique gifts. The main celebration of a feast day lies in the Mass and other prayers where the Blessed or the Saint is mentioned by name or honoured; since they are closely united to God in heaven, we ask them to intercede for our needs before the throne of God and to help us on our path to union with Him. The joy of the celebration of a feast is also expressed in other festive ways (including religious and cultural events and offering something special to the poor ).
The feast of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta is on September 5th. Our preparation for her feast includes nine days of prayer at her tomb. We look to her as a model of love for God and neighbor, a beacon of light and hope, a friend and intercessor and  most of all, as our Mother whose, help and guidance we can still count on.

Public cult in honor of blessed Teresa of Calcutta


The Church distinguishes between the cult of a Blessed and that of a Saint. The act of beatification provides the faithful the opportunity to offer public veneration to a Blessed within set limits. The Missionaries of Charity hope that devotion expressed in faithful observance of these norms will also serve to increase the prayer of the faithful imploring the canonization of Blessed Teresa.


For DIOCESES which have requested and received the approval of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of Sacraments (CDWDS) to inscribe Blessed Teresa of Calcutta in their local Diocesan Liturgical Calendar and for MISSIONARIES OF CHARITY in those Dioceses

Permission for public cult includes the following:

  • The liturgical celebration of Blessed Teresa on 5 September is observed by the Missionaries of Charity as a “feast”; for all others the celebration is observed as an “optional memorial”.
  • The Opening Prayer of the Mass (approved by the CDWDS and available through the local bishop) is proper to Blessed Teresa. All other prayers and the readings are taken from the Common of Virgins or Holy Women. (For the Liturgical Texts: View the section of : Prayer/Liturgical Prayer-Feast)
  • A votive Mass (using the Opening Prayer of the feast) may be offered on days on which votive Masses are allowed. The readings for the Liturgy of the Word may be taken from the day or from the Common of Virgins or Holy Women (see Introduction to the Lectionary for precise guidelines).
  • The Liturgy of the Hours may be celebrated in Blessed Teresa’s honor on 5 September. Until canonization, everything is taken from the Common of Virgins or Holy Women, except the concluding prayer of Morning and Evening Prayer (which is the same as the Opening Prayer for the Mass) and the second reading in the Office of Readings.


  • The relics of Blessed Teresa may be exposed in a suitable place in churches or chapels.
    1. The relic may be placed in a secure reliquary on a stand or in the wall or mounted on the wall or in a shrine. It may be placed in the sanctuary, at a side altar or in another part of the church or chapel.
    2. If it is placed in the sanctuary, the relic may not be on top of the altar (mensa) or next to the tabernacle. (If the relic is a sizable body part, it may with permission be placed under the altar. In the case of Blessed Teresa, however, no large body parts are available.) The relic cannot seem to rival the tabernacle or the main altar.

      Its placement or decoration should not make it seem that the relic is equal in    importance to the Blessed Sacrament or the altar on which the Mass is offered.

  1. Special opportunities for veneration of the relic or programs of prayer in which the relic will be venerated may be publicized. This includes programs sponsored by the Missionaries of Charity.
  2. An image (statue, painting or drawing) of Blessed Teresa may be placed in a church or chapel.
  3. Devotion to Blessed Teresa may be fostered.
  4. Hymns may be sung in her honor.


Prayer to Blessed Teresa of Calcutta


Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, longing to love Jesus as He had never been loved before, you gave yourself entirely to Him, refusing Him nothing. In union with the Immaculate Heart of Mary, you accepted His call to satiate His infinite thirst for love and souls and become a carrier of His love to the poorest of the poor. With loving trust and total surrender you fulfilled His will, witnessing to the joy of belonging totally to Him. You became so intimately united to Jesus your crucified Spouse that He deigned to share with you the agony of His Heart as He hung upon the Cross.

Blessed Teresa, you promised to continuously bring the light of love to those on earth; pray for us that we also may long to satiate the burning thirst of Jesus by loving Him ardently, sharing in His sufferings joyfully, and serving Him wholeheartedly in our brothers and sisters, especially those most unloved and unwanted. Amen

Prayer equesting Blessd Teresa's Intercession  

Jesus, you made Blessed Teresa an inspiring example of firm faith and burning charity, an extraordinary witness to the way of spiritual childhood, and a great and esteemed teacher of the value and dignity of every human life. Grant that she may be venerated and imitated as one of the Church's canonized saints.
Hear the requests of all those who seek her intercession, especially the petition I now implore... (mention here the favour you wish to pray for).

May we follow her example in heeding Your cry of thirst from the Cross and joyfully loving You in the distressing disguise of the poorest of the poor, especially those most unloved and unwanted.

We ask this in Your name and through the intercession of Mary, Your Mother and the Mother of us all.


Mother Teresa Center

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