October 19: Mother Teresa Day

October 19, Mother Teresa Day, is a public holiday in Albania. Although Mother Teresa is best known for her work among the poor of Calcutta, she was born to Albanian parents in the city of Skopje, in what is now Republic of Macedonia.

Albanian officials chose this day because on October 19, 2003, Pope John Paul II beatified Mother Teresa, giving her the name Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. This beatification is one of the many steps towards being named a saint in the Roman Catholic Church.

I’ve found very little information on how this day is celebrated in Albania, but I’ve got a suggestion. It’s said (I haven’t been able to verify it) that when Mother Teresa received the Nobel Peace Prize, someone asked her “What can we do to promote world peace?” Mother Teresa responded simply: “Go home and love your family.”

This is not a flashy celebration, but Mother Teresa was no flashy woman. Perhaps we can best celebrate a day like this by following her simple suggestion: go home and love our families.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

John 13:34-35

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