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Long line of people venerate her relics during Cathedral stop
The line stretched from the Communion rail of the Cathedral of St. Paul down the aisle and out the door. Hundreds of people were lined up to view and venerate relics of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, which were on display for one day at the cathedral July 19.
The veneration was scheduled to take place for just one hour, from 6 to 7 p.m., followed by Mass celebrated by Bishop Lee Piché. But it continued after Mass due to the large number of people, some of whom were still waiting in line when the first veneration ended at 7.
Cameras flashed, fingers reached out and tears flowed as men, women and children filed past the display, which included a rosary, crucifix and sandals worn by Mother Teresa, a candidate for sainthood who died Sept. 5, 1997, at age 87.
Pope John Paul II beatified her Oct. 19, 2003.
The relics are making their way around the United States and Canada as part of various events being held to mark the centennial of Mother Teresa’s birth, Aug. 26.
Emotions were visible as people walked the fine line between pausing to soak in the aura of the relics and keeping their feet moving to give others that same opportunity.
For people like Beth Bauer of St. Michael in St. Michael, the relics not only captivated her, but fueled a devotion to Mother Teresa that has lasted her entire adult life.
“I have had a special devotion to Mother Teresa since I was a teenager,” she said. “My dad took me to see Mother Teresa at the Mayo Civic Auditorium in Rochester when I was in high school. It was one of those experiences where I remember everything about the location I was in and where she was as I listened to her speak. Afterwards, she was taking questions in a smaller area in the auditorium.
“That meeting was life-changing, in the sense that, whenever I think about her or think about going to India, I get a wonderful sense of peace and love. I got the same feeling [while at the Cathedral for the veneration] and am so thankful for those blessings.”
Those who went through the long line started by venerating containers with some of Mother Teresa’s blood. Then, they proceeded down the Communion rail to venerate the relics.
Stationed a short distance away was a display with a winter coat and mittens worn by Mother Teresa during a visit to Minnesota.
At the end of the line were Missionaries of Charity Sisters handing out medals, prayer cards and book marks. People also got a chance to write down their prayer intentions in a book that is on its way to the Missionaries’ convent in India.
Today, the order consists of 4,500 sisters including a community in living in south Minneapolis’ Phillips neighborhood.