Dr Ines Murzaku
IN A TELEGRAM sent to a colloquium organized by AsiaNews in 2016 on the theme “Mother Teresa, mercy for Asia and for the world”, on the eve of the canonization of Mother Teresa (September 5, 2016), Pope Francis invokes Mother Teresa as an example of apostolic zeal, explaining that by following Mother Teresa’s example, her followers can implement the Revolution of Tenderness that was started by “Jesus Christ with his special love for the little ones.” Francis made the Revolution of Tenderness a central theme of his pontificate. What exactly is the Revolution of Tenderness, and why does the pontiff link it to Mother Teresa?
Speaking at a TED talk in Vancouver, Pope Francis explains the tenderness revolution and why humanity desperately needs this kind of revolution:
“Tenderness is using our eyes to see the other, our ears to hear the other, to listen to children, the poor, those who are afraid of the future. To listen also to the silent cry of our common home, of our sick and polluted land. Kindness means using our hands and our hearts to comfort the other, to care for those in need.
Tenderness is learned by imitation. For Mother Teresa, tenderness began at an early age. Young Gonxhe – her Albanian name before becoming Mother Teresa – was surrounded by much affection from her family members, especially her mother.