By Vatican News
When Mother Teresa was born, the city of Skopje was part of the Kosovo Vilayet of the Ottoman Empire. Today it is the capital of North Macedonia. In 1963, an earthquake destroyed the church of the Sacred Heart where she was baptized. But in 2009 a futuristic structure called the Mother Teresa Memorial House was erected on the spot.
Pope Francis visited the Memorial House soon after his arrival in North Macedonia on Tuesday morning. Before greeting a number of poor people assisted by Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, the Pope prayed before the relics of the Saint in the chapel.
Pope Francis’ Prayer
Pope Francis began by thanking God for giving us the life and charism of Saint Mother Teresa: “You called her to bear witness to your love among the poorest of the poor”, he prayed.
“She was able to do much good to those in greatest need, for she saw in every man and woman the face of your Son”. Mother Teresa “became the prayerful cry of the poor and of all those who hunger and thirst for justice”, said Pope Francis.
In the city where she was born and where she lived the first 18 years of her life, the Pope turned to Saint Mother Teresa: “Here you began to see and meet people in need, the poor and the helpless”, he said.
“Here you learned from your parents to love those in greatest need and to help them. Here, in the silence of the church, you heard the call of Jesus to follow him as a religious in the missions”.
Mother Teresa’s intercession
“Here in this place”, prayed Pope Francis, “we ask you to intercede with Jesus, that we too may obtain the grace to be watchful and attentive to the cry of the poor, those deprived of their rights, the sick, the outcast and the least of our brothers and sisters”.
The Pope continued by asking Jesus to grant us the grace “to see Him in the eyes of all who look to us in their need…to become signs of love and hope in our own day, when so many are poor, abandoned, marginalized and migrants”.
Pope Francis concluded by asking Saint Mother Teresa to “pray for this city, for this people, for its Church and for all those who wish to follow Christ… To follow Him, who came not to be served but to serve”.