Mother Teresa Remembrance Day

Published on May 6th, 2022

Memorandum of Support

Re: S.4978 Lanza

In relation to establishing September 4 as “Mother Teresa Remembrance Day”

The above-referenced legislation would establish September 4 as Mother Teresa Remembrance Day in New York State, commemorating the date of her canonization as a saint by Pope Francis on September 4, 2016.

The New York State Catholic Conference supports the legislation as a fitting tribute to one of the most remarkable figures of the 20th century.

St. Teresa of Calcutta, known during her lifetime as Mother Teresa, was an Albanian-born nun and missionary, who spent decades personally ministering to the poorest of the poor in Calcutta (Kolkata) in the Indian State of West Bengal. She is the founder of a worldwide order of nuns, the Missionaries of Charity, who carry on her work to this day in cities across the world, including the Bronx, where they operate Queen of Peace Residence, serving drug addicts, homeless men and women, people with AIDS and unwed mothers, as well as operating soup kitchens, providing emergency shelter, teaching religious education in poor parishes and visiting needy families.

In 1979, Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, recognizing this humble nun with one of the world’s most prestigious honors. After her death in 1997, Pope John Paul II, now a saint himself, waived three years of the five-year waiting period for sainthood causes and authorized the beginning of the beatification process. On December 17, 2015, the Vatican confirmed that Pope Francis officially recognized a second miracle attributed to the intercession of Mother Teresa, clearing the way for her canonization, which took place in Rome at St. Peter’s Square on September 4, 2016.

“I think, perhaps, we may have some difficulty in calling her St. Teresa: Her holiness is so near to us, so tender and so fruitful, that we continue to spontaneously call her Mother Teresa,” the pope said in her canonization ceremony.

We are grateful for this recognition of Mother Teresa of Calcutta and her heroic virtue, and we strongly support this bill to honor her life and work.