Sunday, September 4, 2016

52 Saints ~ Week 36 ~ St. Teresa of Calcutta

I was sitting here, desperately trying to pull together a post on Blessed Lucy of Narnia for today, when I had what people nowadays call a Duh! moment. Mother Teresa! Of course! How could I write on anybody else today? I'm not going to write about any of the facts of her life, however. Those facts are everywhere to be found and written by people who do a much better job than I would.

I had a really good chance to meet Mother Teresa once when she came to Memphis for the dedication of the Missionaries of Charity homeless shelter here. My husband was at that time the photographer for our local museum, and so he was there with the press. I'm pretty sure I could have tagged along with him. For some reason, I didn't go. I don't know why. I could kick myself.

For a time my friend Cathy and I used to take dinner once a month to feed the women and children who were staying with the MCs. At that time I had never had any personal contact with people who were really poor, and being shy by nature, I always felt very awkward, although I was always really glad I had gone once it was over. I was always impressed by the very real joy that was evident in the sisters, and their very real trust that Jesus was taking care of them. Frequently, we see them at church for one reason or another and their pew is like a little circle of light.

The sisters had a very humble little adoration chapel, and once I went in there to pray. There were no chairs there, and I sat at the back of the chapel so I could lean on the wall. There were two sisters sitting in front of the 4 or 5 visitors, and I will never forget the way they sat, straight and motionless, their attention riveted on Our Lord. It was one of the most peaceful places I have ever been.

Shortly after the new saint died, the MCs had let Cathy borrow a first class relic of M. Teresa so that she could pray a novena for a medical problem that she had. The novena being finished, Cathy was anxious to get the relic back to the sisters before something happened to it, so she called and asked if it would be a good time to come. They said yes, they would be there and would be looking for Cathy and her husband. Well, they got to the convent and nobody was around. They honked the horn. They looked everywhere. Nobody. So they got in the car and went home.

When they arrived home, the phone rang. It was Sister asking when they were coming. Cathy told them what had happened, and Sister couldn't understand it because they had definitely been there waiting. Then, shortly afterward, Cathy heard that a 15 year old friend of our daughters had tried to commit suicide by taking a lot of pills.

The girl was in the hospital and the doctors told her parents that although she looked fine at the moment, she was going to die. There was a long time span between her taking the pills and her arrival at the hospital, and it was too late to do anything. She would have increasing toxicity in her liver over the next few days, and then she would die.

So, Cathy took the relic to the hospital. They prayed, and later, the sisters came and prayed a novena with her. Shortly after this, they checked her toxicity level and it was better. The doctors said this just never happens. They were hesitant about using the word miracle, but they said there was no explanation for what had happened. A couple of days later, she walked out of the hospital and has never suffered any after-effects.

Today, this young wife and mother of two is in Rome with her husband and parents for the canonization.

These are my memories of the events, and I may not remember completely accurately, but all the main points are correct.

I chose the above picture even though it's out of focus because it accompanied an article about the miracle that led to St. Teresa's canonization. The headline is She Healed Me.... I'm sure there are many more stories out there like the one above.

P.S. If you haven't read the post below, please do.


Janet Cupo is the proprietor of this blog.

If you want to see all of the posts in this series, click HERE.


  1. These are my memories of the events, and I may not remember completely accurately, but all the main points are correct.

    I love this explanation, Janet! I've been reading some books about memory lately (The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes & The Sea, John Banville) which has led me to think a lot of memories of my own life, what we remember and why, and whether or not it is accurate.

    All of this not to take away from your post, which is wonderful. Saint Teresa of Calcutta, the miracle of her life, and what that miracle has wrought for so many.