Mother Teresa Day: October 19
Mother Teresa Day is a public holiday in Albania.
Mother Teresa Day (Dita e Nënë Terezës, in Albaninan), is celebrated every year on October 19 and is a public holiday in Albania. When mother Teresa was asked about her citizenship she replied: “By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun.”
Mother Teresa was born in Skopje, Albania on August 26, 1910 and was named Agnesë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu (Gonxhe meaning “rosebud” in Albanian). By the time she took her first religious vows as a nun, she chose the name Teresa after Thérèse de Lisieux, the patron saint of missionaries. She was an Albanian Roman Catholic nun with Indian citizenship who founded the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata (Calcutta), India in 1950. For over 45 years she ministered to the poor, sick, orphaned, and dying, while guiding the Missionaries of Charity’s expansion, first throughout India and then in other countries.
History of Mother Teresa Day
Often called a living saint, Mother Teresa cared for the destitute of India through her Order of the Missionaries of Charity. She won the Noble Prize in 1979 and used the opportunity to educate the public further on the problems of the poor. Within two years of Mother Teresa’s death in Calcutta, in 1997, the process to declare her a saint was begun, and Pope John Paul II issued a special dispensation to expedite the process of canonization. After her death in 1997, the Catholic Church quickly began steps to canonize her as a saint. On Oct. 19, 2003 she was beatified, making her Saint Mother Teresa, reaching the ranks of the blessed in the shortest time in the history of the church. Her homeland of Albania made this an official national holiday.
Mother Teresa Day Traditions, Customs and Activities
On this day, Albanians do not work. Even though Albania does not have an official religion and consider all religions as equals, Albanians are proud of the legacy of Mother Teresa as a Catholic nun. During this day, Albanians attend mass in celebration of the memory of Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta and pray novenas asking for the intervention of the Saint for their causes.