Mother Teresa’s Ear Still Biggest Crowd Draw at Vatican
VATICAN CITY — One of Pope Francis’ first acts after being elected Pontiff of the Catholic Church was to order the body of the late Blessed Teresa of Calcutta to be put on view for the faithful in St. Peter’s Basilica.
But Cardinal Pietro Parolin (Secretary of State) had to inform the Holy Father that Mother Teresa’s beatified body had been embalmed in “Holy pieces” for future “Holy placement” in Catholic Churches around the world.
“While the Catholic Church waits for Blessed Teresa’s second miracle to reveal itself so she can become a Saint, her mortal body was prepared for sharing with dioceses around the globe,” Cardinal Parolin is quoted as saying in Rome’s Il Messaggero newspaper today.
Pope Francis then ordained that a “blessed part of the Blessed Teresa shall be prepared and shared with the blessed flocks who flock to the Vatican so they may reflect on the blessings of kindness and giving.”
And today, almost a year later, one ear of the nun who worked for the poorest of the poor draws more visitors than the Sistine Chapel or any of the Vatican’s other 53 museum attractions. Waits in the lineup can be up to four hours.
“More than 3 million followers have been moved by Blessed Teresa’s ear,” said Cardinal Parolin.
“This could be her second miracle.”
Teresa created the Missionaries of Charity, a group of 4,500 Sisters who ran hospices for people with leprosy, tuberculosis and HIV/Aids in more than 130 countries. The Missionaries also ran soup kitchens and orphanages for street people. She was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1979 and died in 1997 at 87 years of age.
“The Catholic Church has reached out to people of all faiths through public sharing of Holy vessels or parts of Holy vessels for centuries,” Parolin is quoted as saying.
“Pope Jean Paul II for example is ready to go and will be shared at more than 100 Churches in 80 countries following his Canonization on April 27th of this year.”
Cardinal Parolin did not comment on Mother Teresa’s other ear.
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