Bhubaneswar, Sep 3 (IANS) As in rest of India and the world, Mother Teresa is much revered in Odisha, where she is remembered with fondness by people from all walks of life ahead of her canonisation in the Vatican on Sunday.
Among those who knew Mother Teresa well is Sister Merry Olivet, the regional superior of the Missionaries of Charity in Odisha.
“She was a loving mother who cared for her children. She was an open-minded person who trusted God and people. Prayer was her strength,” recalled Olivet who was associated with Mother Teresa since 1973 in Kolkata, when it was called Calcutta.
“I first met the Mother in 1973. I was young and I was deeply touched by her personality. I got later got trained and worked with her,” Olivet reminisced.
She recalled how Mother Teresa cared for them.
“When she was ill, doctors advised her against negotiating staircases or holding babies in arms. But, she had a mother’s heart. She didn’t stop loving anyon”,” said Olivet.
“For her, meeting people and serving them was a great joy,” she added.
And that continued even till the last day of her life when she signed the prayer card for a Mumbai couple.
Not only the sisters of the Missionaries of Charity, everyone who felt blessed by the Mother remember their meetings with her.
“I first met Mother Teresa when I was pursuing my graduation in Kolkata in 1994. My experience was very memorable. It was a great feeling meeting he”,” said Father Dibakar Parichha, Director of Catholic Charities in Bhubaneswar.
Mother Teresa had visited Odisha several times during her lifetime and interacted with people across the social spectrum.
“She used to visit Odisha as there are several branches of the Missionaries of Charity. I had a chance to meet her while she visited Sundargar”,” recalled journalist Susim Chandra Sahani.
“When she was paying her obeisance to the grotto of Mother Merry, which was just beside the main road connecting the Rourkela branch, I touched her feet. She caught hold of my hand. I think she had a healing touch. When she embraced me, I could feel an aura in her,” Sahani said.
Surely, there will be many across Odisha glued to their TV sets hoping to catch glimpses of her canonisation at the Vatican on Sunday.
(Chinmaya Dehury can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)