Albania, Kosovo and neighbouring Macedonia honoured Mother Teresa last week on the 100th anniversary of her birth in Skopje, now in Macedonia, to Albanian parents.
In the Albanian capital of Tirana hundreds of people of all ages gathered on Thursday morning to place red roses at the Mother Teresa monument on the square also bearing her name.
“Mother Teresa deserves respect and I am proud to have the same origins as her,” 20-year old student Tea, dressed in white and blue – the colours of Mother Teresa’s order – told AFP.
For several days all the main streets in Tirana have been decorated with little white and blue flags and portraits of the nun, who became known as the “Saint of the Gutters” for her work with India’s poor and destitute.
The Albanian authorities also announced they will issue special gold commemorative coins with Mother Teresa’s likeness.
Born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in 1910, she arrived in India in 1929 and two years later took her first religious vows as a nun and adopted the name Teresa under which she would achieve worldwide recognition.
Mother Teresa was beatified in 2003, after being fast-tracked by the Vatican, but her elevation to sainthood is still awaiting proof of a medical miracle.