LAFAYETTE, LA (KPLC) - For the first time since 1986, Mother Teresa made a visit to Lafayette, this time it was in spirit.
"It was literally as though she was walking into the church, as though she made her entrance and she made her presence known in the church. I think that was understood," said Mark Bennett, who was in attendance.
A large number of people stopped by St. Genevieve Catholic Church in Lafayette, to see an exhibit in honor of what would have been her hundredth birthday on August 26.
"I wouldn't be surprised if there were people of many faiths sitting out in that congregation, who come to see a Mother that was an example to everyone. A Nobel Prize winner, a woman who shook hands with kings and queens and presidents, but here she is with us," said Father Curtis Mallet.
The relics on display included Mother Teresa's blood, hair, sari, and the crucifix, rosary and sandals she was wearing at the time of her death.
For Father Mallet, one item stuck out in particular.
"For me it was her sandals, because the scripture says that, 'Blesseder and happier the feet, will bring the good news.' And Mother's feet brought the good news to the whole world. Those little worn out sandals, they were so tiny because she was such a tiny person, but a powerful person walked in those tiny shoes," said Father Mallet.
The chance to be near Mother Teresa's relics was an experience those in attendance felt would be with them for quite some time.
"It was beautiful, it was a Saint here on earth, and it was a blessing to be in her presence," said Bennett.
"For me it was a very personal and important experience because I go the chance to speak to Mother on the phone," said Father Mallet, "One day I was in Father's office and he said 'Someone wants to talk to you,' and handed the phone to me, and I was almost trembling. It was Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and she said that she would pray for me, and I was ordained a Priest not long after that."
An inspiration in life and now in death, it's clear by the turnout that Mother Teresa is still having an impact on lives around the world.
This was the last Louisiana stop for Mother Teresa's relics, they will next be in a Houston and Dallas.