‘Mother Teresa could be the pa­tron saint of trav­ellers’

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Poulomi Ban­er­jee let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Mother Teresa, the founder of Mis­sion­ar­ies of Char­ity, who ded­i­cated her life to the care of the “poor­est of the poor”, will be can­on­ized by the Vat­i­can on Septem­ber 4. Ahead of her can­on­iza­tion, Fa­ther Brian Kolodiejchuk, who has been the pos­tu­la­tor for Mother’s can­on­iza­tion cause speaks to HT from Rome. Ex­cerpts from a tele­phonic in­ter­view. The first step is when peo­ple sense there is some­thing holy about the per­son. Like in Mother Teresa’s case, peo­ple felt she was a holy per­son. Af­ter that the Bishop of the dio­cese in which the per­son died has to pe­ti­tion that a cause for Be­at­i­fi­ca­tion and can­on­iza­tion be ini­ti­ated. If no ob­jec­tion is made by the Vat­i­can, the process is started, af­ter which the per­son is ad­dressed as a ‘Ser­vant of God’. In Mother’s case that pe­ti­tion had to come from Kolkata. Usu­ally there has to be a five year gap be­tween the per­son’s death and when the pe­ti­tion can be made. But in Mother’s case the Pope waived off three years, so the pe­ti­tion was moved and ac­cepted in 1999. I was ap­pointed pos­tu­la­tor in March 1999. Oh, she could be pa­tron saint of women who are hav­ing trou­ble con­ceiv­ing. Even dur­ing her life cou­ples who were hav­ing trou­ble hav­ing a baby would come to her. And she would take a medal­lion of Mother Mary and tell them to pray to Mother Mary say­ing, “Mary, Mother of Je­sus, give us a child.” And their prayer would be an­swered. She could also be a pa­tron saint of trav­el­ers, she did so much trav­el­ling her­self. In fact, ever since her death I have al­ways prayed to her to take care of my lug­gage when­ever I have trav­elled and I have never had any trou­ble with lug­gage. It hasn’t ever been lost or de­layed or any­thing.

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