Mother Teresa blessed hundreds of worshipers at a Bronx church Wednesday after five young women took vows of chastity and poverty to join her religious order.
“I accept your vows in the name of the church,” the 86-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner told the novitiates after each promised to live a life of “chastity, poverty, obedience and whole-hearted … service to the poorest of the poor.”
Six more nuns renewed their vows to the Sisters Missionaries of Charity, which runs a soup kitchen and homeless shelter in the Bronx, an AIDS hospice in Manhattan and 500 other facilities for the poor around the world.
About 1,500 people attended the ceremony at St. Anthony of Padua Church, a simple, brick building surrounded by vacant lots and boarded-up buildings.
After Mass, Mother Teresa sat in a wheelchair, handing out medals to hundreds of worshipers in a nearby building.
“I looked right in her eyes, I held her hand and I got this wonderful feeling - it just went right through me,” said Karen Slayton, who drove in from Mt. Pocono, Pa., for the service.