Catholic World News

UN celebrates International Day of Charity on anniversary of Mother Teresa’s death

September 06, 2013

The United Nations commemorated the first annual International Day of Charity on September 5, the anniversary of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta’s death in 1997.

“I welcome this first observance of the International Day of Charity, which was proclaimed last year by the United Nations General Assembly and which coincides with the anniversary of the death of Mother Teresa, whose life and good works for some of the human family’s poorest and most vulnerable members inspired emulation across the world,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his message for the occasion.

“The Church is particularly happy that the international community, by designating precisely September 5th as the first International Day of Charity, wishes to recognize the extraordinary witness of charity exemplified in recent times by Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta,” the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations said in a statement, adding:

The motivation and reason for the Church’s mission of charity is none other than Jesus Christ Himself, and the desire to bear witness to His love. In her tireless work for the poor and the outcast this was also Blessed Mother Teresa’s inspiration and strength. Her life’s witness of love derived from what Christ taught. In the service of charity, Mother Teresa sought not merely to provide humanitarian relief or to change social structures. As she clearly stated at her Nobel Lecture: “We are not just social workers. We may be doing social work in the eyes of the people, but we are really contemplatives in the heart of the world, for we are touching the Body of Christ 24 hours” (December 11, 1979). Her life and example continue to challenge the Church’s charitable organizations to be faithful to their specific identity and in their work to always defend and promote life.

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  • Posted by: Defender - Sep. 06, 2013 6:35 PM ET USA

    And three years ago, the Empire State Building refused to honor Mother Teresa. Just think, the UN is an organization that has done much to ignore Catholic teaching on birth control, abortion, etc, turns around to honor her.