This fun and functional tea towel is perfect for bread baskets or dish-drying. It’s an oversized 20 x 28 inches, and 100% cotton with a herringbone weave. More importantly, its design of three blue stripes on a white background recalls the sari habits worn by St. Teresa of Calcutta and her Missionaries of Charity.
Mother Teresa was inspired by God to choose this simple type of cotton sari worn by poor Bengali women as the habit of the order of nuns she founded. Sister Gertrude (+2015), the second nun to join the Missionaries of Charity, recalled, “Mother selected the blue border, for we associate the colour blue with Mother Mary. It stands for purity. Also in those days women who swept the streets used to wear a similar kind of a sari. So Mother adopted a religious dress that was both symbolic and practical—it not only helped to identify ourselves with the poor but was also suitable to Calcutta’s searing climate.”
The colour of their sari—white—stands for truth and purity while the three blue borders each signify the vows that the nuns of the Order take: the first band represents Poverty, the second Obedience and the third broad band represents the vows of Chastity and of wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor.
Novices wear white saris without the three blue stripes. When they are ready to take vows after four years of formation, they receive the blue-striped sari of the Congregation. Each sister possesses only three saris.
— from motherteresa.org
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