Relic of St Teresa of Calcutta visits Ballymurphy area where she was based as a nun in the 1970s

The veneration of the relic of St Teresa of Calcutta at St Patrick's Church in Belfast. Picture by Hugh Russell

A RELIC of St Teresa of Calcutta last night visited the west Belfast community where she worked as a nun for more than a year at the height of the Troubles.

The faithful gathered at Corpus Christ Church in the Ballymurphy area where St Teresa worked alongside four other nuns from her Missionaries of Charity order during the 1970s.

Parishioners had gathered earlier at St Patrick's Church on Donegall Street to see the relic - a muslin cloth marked with the blood of the saint and encased in a cross.

The relic is visiting a number of churches as part of a tour of veneration across Ireland, which was organised by the Knights of Columbanus, who have been loaned the relic by the Mother Teresa Centre of the Missionaries of Charity.

Born in 1910 in Skopje, Macedonia, Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu - who would later become known as Mother Teresa - moved to Ireland at the age of 18 and joined the Loreto Order.

In 1929 she moved to India to work with the poor, before founding the Missionaries of Charity order in 1950, which by 2012 had 4,500 sisters working in 133 countries.

Mother Teresa died in September 1997 and was canonised in September 2016, becoming St Teresa of Calcutta.

The relic will leave Belfast today and will make stops in Enniskillen, Strabane, Derry and Coleraine.

It will also visit the Archdiocese of Tuam at Knock Shrine and in the Archdiocese' of Cashel and Emly and then Dublin.

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