'Padri Ki Haveli' where mother lived, took training in nursing

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PATNA: The Pope Francis visited the birthplace of Mother Teresa at Skopje in North Macedonia on May 7, 2019 and paid homage to her declared as the Saint in 2016.  

It is in this context that the name of St. Mary’s Church of Patna in Bihar, popularly known as Padri Ki Haveli, comes in. Built in 1713 when the Roman Catholics arrived in Patna, it was in this church where Mother Teresa took her training for three-months in medical treatment of the poor in 1848.

Padri Ki Haveli is interwoven with Mother Teresa and also with the history of Christianity in Bihar. It is from this church that Christianity spread across Bihar. The church is a landmark in the life of Mother Teresa also who launched her Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata after just a year of leaving Patna. 

Though Padri Ki Haveli was destroyed twice during the attacks by the sepoys of Nawab Mir Qasim in 1763 and during the Mutiny of 1857, it again rose like a phoenix virtually from the ashes as the church was also burnt extensively both the times.

It is Padri Ki Haveli that Mother Teresa knew that the Christmas was celebrated in Patna way back in 1621 AD when a large number of Europeans lived here for trade and commerce.

History says the Europeans started preaching Christianity in Patna and Bihar during that time thus making it one of the earliest Christian pockets of India. The present structure of Padri Ki Haveli was completed in 1773. In 1713, it was a very small church part of which was built by wood.

Interestingly, if you want to know what Mother Teresa looked like when she was very young, you have to come to Padri Ki Haveli. One of her rarest of the rare photograph as a young girl is still kept in this church. It is here where Mother Teresa knew that the Christian missionaries were quite active in Bihar under Father Felix in 1713.

Sisters of Missionaries of Charity that was founded by Mother Teresa in 1950, run an orphanage and a house for the destitute adjacent to Padri ki Haveli. They preserved the small room in its original form at Padri Ki Haveli where Mother Teresa lived.

Padri Ki Haveli is the only church in India which is associated with a Nobel Laureate: Mother Teresa. She received the Nobel Prize in Peace. At the same time, this also is the only church in India where a Saint had lived: Mother Teresa.

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