Albania wants Mother Teresa's body

Oct. 18, 2009 at 1:57 AM

TIRANA, Albania, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- Mother Teresa of Calcutta, buried in the city where she spent much of her life, would prefer to rest with her family, Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha says.

Berisha has asked India to return her remains to Albania, CNN reports. The country plans to open a museum on her life and works next year, the 100th anniversary of her birth.

Mother Teresa, born Agnese Gonxhe Bojaxhiu in 1910, moved to Calcutta in 1931 and founded the Missionaries of Charity in 1950. She died there in 1997.

"By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world," she once said.

Her mother and sister are buried in Tirana, and Berisha says she should be reunited with them.

"She missed them very much all her life," he said. "My request is a very human one."

But her earthly remains appear likely to remain in the Missionaries of Charity compound.

"She has become part and parcel of our national life," said the Rev. Babu Joseph, spokesman for the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India. "She built a strong bond with India."

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