The First Day of Issue Ceremony for the Mother Teresa Stamp was held after Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on September 5th, the anniversary of her death. The 2pm Mass which went overtime (and was standing room only) was followed by what I’m sure had to have been one of the Postal Service’s more unique stamp dedications. It was no less unusual, for the Shrine as well. When a giant US Postal Service logo, that covered the stamp, was wheeled in and placed in front of the main altar, it reminded me just how significant this little stamp is.
For this festive occasion, as part of Mother’s centenary celebrations, we each received a lovely commemorative program and souvenir envelope with a cancelled stamp you can see pictured at the end, as well as a blue and white ribbon and Mother Teresa medal we could pin on and holy card with a third class relic.
There were many sayings of Mother Teresa that were shared both during the homily by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the Apostolic Nuncio to the Untied States, and by the representatives from the US Postal service during the dedication.
Two thoughts I remember most was a saying of Mother’s: “The greatest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis but the feeling of being unwanted and the greatest destroyer of peace is abortion.”
And the remarks made by one of the US Postal representatives that gave me a little insight into how this process of commemorating Blessed Teresa by a stamp had affected those who worked on the project. Not only did he say glowing words about her life and works, but added that he had been to many stamp dedications and that this one was uniquely moving to him. How wonderful! May this little stamp inspire all those who see it to bring love, joy, and hope to a hurting world in the spirit of Mother Teresa!