Service to remember Mother Teresa held in Belfast 25 years after her death

The legacy of Mother Teresa lives on in Belfast with people from the city remembering the contribution she made during her stay on the 25th anniversary of her death.

Mother Teresa's life was dedicated to service.

She started her religious life as a novice nun in the Loretto Order in Dublin – aged only 18.

During her lifetime, the Nobel prizewinner spoke of hope and peace, especially in Northern Ireland.

“We could only bring them together to share the joy of loving, I think peace will come," she once told a conference.

In the 1970s she was somewhat of an international celebrity, known worldwide for her compassion and when she arrived in west Belfast, the local community got to see that kindness at first hand.

"The nuns lived here for a year and a half in around 1972/73," Tommy Holland told UTV.

"Mother Teresa and her nuns just showed up through an invite from Fr Des Wilson. The people of Springhill and Ballymurphy embraced her so much that they actually decided to stay," he explained.

Mother Teresa in Belfast in 1971 Credit: PA

They arrived shortly after the Ballymurphy Massacre, and some of them remained to witness further violence at Springhill.

"It was traumatising for them, but they stayed. This was the whole thing, people here felt as if they were abandoned but Mother Teresa's nuns stayed for a very, very long time," said Mr Holland.

Mother Teresa’s time in west Belfast was cut short due a reported dispute with the church hierarchy, but her character left a lasting impact.

"She was very humble," recalled Tommy, "there as some sort of charisma she had about her."

"My mum was over the moon when mother Teresa just walked over and lifted the baby out of my mum’s arms, my mum always said to my wee sister Joanne, 'You’re blessed, you were hugged and you were kissed by Mother Teresa'."

Nineteen years after her death, Mother Teresa was canonised, but to those living in Ballymurphy she has always been known as the saint who lived on the street.

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