Just a few kilometres from the world famous resting place of Nobel Prize winner Mother Teresa is a sprawling complex with freshly painted blue and white buildings. Through the years, not too many people, even in Kolkata, had given the campus much regard, treating it as just another effort by Christian missionaries to spread the good word. An elderly couple with a sister
But on October 11, all of that changed and Teresa's Missionaries of Charity suddenly found itself relegated, almost by default, to the background. Kolkata had got its first saint in Frenchwoman Jeanne Jugan who was canonised in Rome that day. Suddenly, St. Joseph's Home on Lower Circular Road in Kolkata was catapulted into the media spotlight. That focus revealed some interesting facts, not merely that the founder of the Home, Jeanne Jugan, had been canonised, but it was in Kolkata, way back in 1882, a full 28 years before Mother Teresa was born, that a group of four sisters of the Order that Jugan had created in France set up its first home for the aged. On October 11, after the television channels had brought home images of their own mother being conferred sainthood in Rome, the old and poor of St. Joseph's Home gave themselves over to some joy. Ninety-year-olds danced to "We have got a saint, after all". Television crews and reporters repeatedly asked Mother Jean, Mother Superior of the Little Sisters of the Poor, Saint Jeanne's Order which runs the St. Joseph's Home, how it felt now that the god of little things in Kolkata had been beaten to the sainthood post by a Frenchwoman whom no one had even heard of before in Kolkata. Inmates at the little sisters of the poor home
Mother Jean will not get into such "trivialities". "What you might want to know is that Mother Teresa herself stayed in this very house when she left the Loreto nunnery and had no place to live in Kolkata," she says. Sister Christie, official spokeswoman of the Missionaries of Charity, confirms,"Yes, the Mother...
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