Spaniard chooses to celebrate Teresa’s sainthood in Kolkata

Kolkata, Sep 4 (IANS) Between the Vatican and Kolkata, Spaniard Aristides Bermejo, who had met Mother Teresa several times, chose the eastern Indian metropolis to celebrate her canonisation, as “this is where it all began”.

As hundreds of pilgrims from across the world thronged the Mother House, the global headquarters of the Missionaries of Charity on yet another rainy Sunday morning, Bermejo and his family were ecstatic.

“I had the option of going to Rome. But I chose Calcutta (Kolkata’s former name),” Bermejo told IANS here at the Mother House, as Pope Francis declared Teresa a saint of the Catholic Church from his pulpit in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican.

“I came to Calcutta because this is where it all began. I believe Mother loved the people here more. Her presence can be felt here more than any part of the world. This is my personal feeling,” added the public relations officer of a plush hotel in Seville.

Bermejo came to Bengaluru two weeks back. “I stayed at the Mother Teresa Charitable Trust there for a few days. Then I flew down to Calcutta.”

Mother was anointed a Saint after the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints accepted a second miracle attributed to the Albanian nun. It related to the recovery of Brazilian Marcilio Haddad Andrino from multiple abscesses in his brain.

Asked if he believed in the miracles of Mother, Bermejo said: “I believe the biggest miracle of hers is the mission she had undertaken.”

Bermejo fondly remembers each one of his meetings.

“She had this divine power of healing people by the touch of her hand. I miss her but her work and teachings inspire me to work for others.”

Bermejo said, “When I came here the last time, I was 22. Now I am 43, and this is my first visit after her death.”

To Bermejo, the life and work of Mother Teresa is an avenue to relax the mind from the drudgery of daily life and start afresh by following her.

“It’s important for everyone to have their foot on the floor. Europeans have too many problems. She helped me forget my problems. Back in my home, I forget all problems because I follow her so deeply. I feel the need to do something for other people. That’s why I do charity back in Spain.”

Bermejo does charity for several NGOs in Seville. “I have a hectic job schedule. But whenever I get time, I visit various European countries spreading Mother’s message of love, care and humanity.”

(Debayan Mukherjee can be contacted at debayan.m@ians.in)

–IANS

dm/vd/vt

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