Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Lovely (Golden) Bones

The Albanians would like Mother Teresa's bones returned from India. Time is of the essence.

In fact, India has been given until August to dig up the nun's remains.

Already beatified, Mother Teresa is considered a shoe-in for sainthood. Sure the Nobel Peace Prize was grand, but that's become a bit of a joke and it's sainthood that's to be taken seriously.

Will the Pope make the official declaration next August, on Mother Teresa's 100th birthday?

Should that happen, the Albanian tourism ministry would very much like to have the sainted bones mouldering in Albanian soil, to be prayed over by tourists who would spend money on food and lodging and souvenirs.

India has shown no signs of giving in to the demand. As far as the Indian government is concerned, Mother Teresa became an Indian citizen in 1951 and so she is Indian. She is buried in her homeland, in Calcutta, and the Albanians can name as many roads and airports after her as they like, but those bones aren't leaving.

Albania does not even have a birthplace to turn into a tourist trap, since Mother Teresa was actually born in Macedonia. Don't think that doesn't grate on Albanian nerves. Technically, the woman was Macedonian and not Albanian at all, except for her parents having been born in Albania.

Times are hard, and it's even harder in Albania, a poor country with nothing to attract hordes of wealthy foreigners. The government has vowed to increase pressure on India to deliver the remains, but Albania is poor and India is booming. What real pressure can be applied when such inequality exists?

Beatified individuals must perform miracles to make the final step to sainthood. It's time for the Albanians to start praying.


lily, rosemary and the jack of hearts said...

'Albania, a poor country with nothing to attract hordes of wealthy foreigners'

I'm not so sure about that. I just spent a week travelling through the amazing country that is Albania.

You can have a look at a little bit of the 'nothing to attract hordes of wealthy foreigners' here:

O hAnnrachainn said...

Rugged, wild countryside. Heart-stopping scenery....nothing to attract hordes of wealthy foreigners who like their travels made easy.

It's lovely indeed, but where's the tour bus that takes one from the five-star hotel to the tourist trap? That's why they need Mother Teresa. She's a destination.

lily, rosemary and the jack of hearts said...

It's sadly true.