Baltimoreans will experience a special connection with Blessed Mother Teresa June 30-July 2 when relics of the “saint of Calcutta” will be made available for veneration as part of a tour of the U.S. and Canada marking the 100th anniversary of the missionary’s birth.
Blessed Mother Teresa’s crucifix, rosary and sandals and a reliquary containing her blood will be received at 4 p.m. at the Gift of Hope Convent June 30 on the campus of St. Wenceslaus in East Baltimore. Visitors may venerate the relics until 8:30 p.m.
An 8 a.m. Mass will be celebrated July 1 at St. Wenceslaus, followed by a holy hour and veneration of the relics until noon. That evening, the relics will be transported to Our Lady of Pompei in Highlandtown where a 5:30 p.m. Mass in Spanish will be celebrated, followed by a holy hour, rosary and veneration until 8:30 p.m.
Mass will be celebrated at 8 a.m. at St. Leo in Little Italy on July 2, followed by a holy hour, rosary and veneration until 11 a.m. The relics will then be exhibited at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary beginning with a 12:10 p.m. Mass celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Denis J. Madden, followed by a holy hour and veneration until 3 p.m. The relics will return to the Gift of Hope Convent that afternoon, where they will be available for veneration until 8:30 p.m.
Sister Mary Vineeth, superior of the Missionaries of Charity who work at the Gift of Hope, called it a “great joy” to have the relics in Baltimore. Blessed Mother Teresa, foundress of the Missionaries of Charity, first visited Baltimore in 1992 when the Gift of Hope opened. She also prayed at the basilica in 1996.
“When she was alive, we had the privilege to touch her rosary and get a blessing,” Sister Vineeth said. “Mother always told us to cling to the rosary. We hope it will inspire people to pray the rosary.”
There are five Missionaries of Charity who minister in Baltimore, two from Africa, two from India and one from the United States. Their primary service is to care for AIDS patients at the Gift of Hope, but they also visit the sick, hold a summer Bible camp at St. Wenceslaus and teach catechism classes at Our Lady of Pompei.
During the time the relics are in Baltimore, the sisters will distribute prayer cards with an image of Blessed Mother Teresa’s sandals.