- (Photo: AP Photo / Bikas Das)
People around the world marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of Mother Teresa last week in honor of the selfless nun who dedicated her life to serving the sick and poor in India.
In a special message, Pope Benedict XIV described Mother Teresa as an "inestimable gift" and said "this year will be for the church and the world an occasion of joyful gratitude to God."
In Skopje, the capital of Macedonia, where Mother Teresa was born, Parliament held a special session on Thursday to pay tribute and a Mass was held in the city's main Roman Catholic cathedral.
In the eastern Indian city of Calcutta, meanwhile, where Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity six decades ago, hundreds visited the site of her grave in her organization's headquarters.
Born to Albanian parents in Aug. 26, 1910, Mother Teresa is widely know for her lifelong efforts in caring for hundreds of thousands of destitute and homeless poor in Calcutta, for which she came to be called the "saint of the gutters."
She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 and was beatified by the Vatican in 2003 - roughly six years after her death in 1997.
Among the events planned to mark the yearlong anniversary include special feasts to feed the poor, a festival of films on her life and work, the launch of a new train called the Mother Express, and interfaith prayer meetings.
The Roman Catholic Church has fast-tracked the process of declaring her a saint.