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May 25, 2021 42 mins

PART THREE - She wasn’t always a saint. When Mother Teresa is 36 years old, she hears a mystical voice on a train. Then she has visions — visions she believes are sent by God to tell her to bring souls to Jesus. Little does she know these moments of near ecstasy will lead her to international celebrity. But her path to founding her own religious institute is dotted with challenges and skepticism, even spiritual darkness.


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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:16):
Mother Teresa was always traveling, flying here, flying there. I
tend to think of her as living a spart in life,
but of course she took planes like anyone else. Mary
Johnson remembers us one time in particular, the two of
them flew from Rome to Sweden. Mary was Mother's traveling
companion and assistant for the trip. We were going there
for an ecumenical conference where mother was going to be

(00:38):
honored and was going to give a talk. They boarded
the plane in their blue and white saris. Mary also
packed two heavy boxes of miraculous medals, these small religious
tokens that Mother Teresa would kiss and hand out to people.
Mary and Mother Teresa settled into their seats in first class.
They booked economy, but Mary says airlines always upgraded their tickets.

(00:58):
They're trying to avoid all the commotion that would happen
if people knew Mother Teresa was on the plane. Mary says,
Mother Teresa pulled on the sleeve of one of the
flight attendants and said, all that extra food you know
that people aren't eating, that you're going to have to
throw away anyway, Could you give it to me and
I will use it for the poor. The flight attendant

(01:18):
looked hesitant, awkward. She explained they had to throw the
food waste away. It was against the rules to keep it.
And she said, oh no, just tell them Mother Teresa
needs it for the poor. They won't make any fuss
for you. And anyway, long story short, Eventually she went
around with a big black trash bag, collecting things from people,
and of course that's how people came to know that

(01:40):
Mother Teresa was on the plane. And then they all
started to come, one by one and standing next and
Mother would sign things for them and kiss the metal
and give it to them and pray with them and
all the rest of it. And when we finally landed
in Stockholm and we got out of the plane and
there was the Catholic bishop and the Lutheran big shot

(02:04):
guy whoever he was in the Salvation Army general, and
they were all waiting for us there, and his mother
Theresa met them. The flight attendant came out with these
two huge trash bags full of sugar packets and ketchup
packets and salt packets and little candy bars and whatever
else you can have, these these big trash bags. And

(02:26):
Mother Teresa saw it and she turns to the Salvation
Army general, and she says, you work with the poor,
don't you? And she gives him the two trash bags
full of all of these little things from the airplane.
And I don't have any idea what he did with them.

(02:51):
Hearing this story made me wonder about Mother Trees at
the Person. The woman who loved to hand out miraculous
metals so much she ran out. The woman who do
anything to save a few scraps of food, who was
tough enough to lead a worldwide organization until months before
she died at seven. The woman who wrote she knew
from the beginning she was setting herself up for misery,
all in service to the poor. I wanted to know more.

(03:14):
She hadn't always been a living saint. She was young
once she had a whole interior life. How did Mother
Trees at the Person become Mother Trees at the Icon.
I wanted to talk with sister still in the order,
but finding current sisters who would speak with us was
not easy to do. Gosh, I'm nervous. My name is
in testing testing. Oh, my name is Erica Lance. If

(03:42):
you would be willing to chat with me for a
few minutes, or if there's somebody else next. A couple
of times a sister would answer a few questions as
long as we didn't record. I totally understand. Oh, you
need permission from the mother House, she said she couldn't
give me. I'm not I'm not interested in becaming a
sister personally now. Also ended the conversation with God, bless sorry,

(04:05):
bless you. I can't remember which I was a really
quick no wow. I guess that's the way they say goodbye.
Most of the time they wouldn't talk. I'm getting this
sound that still ringing? All right? That time I got
the busy super Instead, they directed me to a regional house.
The regional houses would direct me to the Bronx House,
the main house in the US. Gosh, just imagine they're
in grand silence and this phone is ringing and long stuff.

(04:27):
The Bronx House sent me to the Mother Teresa of
Calcutta Center, which has an amazing website. By the way,
when you open it you hear music and Mother Teresa's
voice A and t Z. But they sent me to
the top the mother House in Calcutta and the Superior
General Sister Mary Prama Pieric. Sister Prama declined to speak

(04:49):
with me. In some respects, the refusal to be interviewed
makes sense. Mother Teresa wasn't always very open with journalists.
She was careful about which writers and interviewers she talked to,
so her followers don't like to talk to journalists either.

(05:12):
The missionaries of charity are very protective of Mother Teresa
and the organization. Early on, I was warned by multiple people,
they're not going to talk to you, but some former
sisters would, sisters who knew Mother Teresa, who worked with
her directly, who have stories they haven't shared publicly before.
When I say mother Teresa, what comes to mind immediately

(05:35):
for you? Who she was? Because I know her, I
know her well from Rococo Punch and I Heeart Media.
This is the turning I Am America Lance Part three. Mother,

(06:06):
I'm feeling I'm being much too open and um not
guarded enough in a sense for something public. That's my fear.
I mean, I do have some apprehension about the I
don't think Sister Kathleen Hughes worried she tell me something
horrible or some major piece of dirt. I think it's

(06:26):
just that concerned that any imperfect detail could take away
from all the good Mother Trees that did. In general,
one thing I've noticed is that part of Mother Trees's
power is that she's as symbol. I think sometimes there's
a mindset that any blemish or misconstrule could take away
from that. And I mean think about it. As an MC,
you're essentially instructed not to talk much about your life
with the outside world, don't write about it in letters

(06:49):
to your family, don't discuss it with outsiders. So talking
to a journalist, I can see why that might feel
a little strange, even for X M. C. S. I
can't speak for Sister Kathleen, but it was clear she
wasn't sure she wanted to talk. It was a definite
no from me, and I'm sure you felt that it
was going to be a definite no. And and then

(07:11):
the Holy Spirit just I don't know how he did it.
He was like, no, you're going to do it, and
I said, oh, okay, let me introduce you to Sister Kathleen.
I was twenty nine years a missionary of charity with
Mother Trees of Calcutta. I was our first American sister too,

(07:35):
joined from the United States. Even though Sister Kathleen is
no longer, an MC Jesus is still her spouse. I've
lived the last seventeen years as a consecrated woman, a
consecrated virgin here in the Archdiocese of Boston. A consecrated
virgin is basically a woman declared sacred by the Catholic Church,
committed to a life of virginity as a bride of Christ.

(07:58):
She's not a non per se, but Sister Kathleen attends
Mass daily and continues her mission work in the community.
I'm very grateful to God for all my years in
whichever path He's led me. If I may say that
Sister Kathleen was drawn to join the m c S
the way a lot of women were by a British
documentary filmed the nineteen sixty nine and Kolkata, called Something

(08:20):
Beautiful for God. When she was twenty years old. Sister
Kathleen wasn't a sister yet. She was a college student
in upstate New York at Syracuse University. She heard that
Something Beautiful for God was going to be screened there,
and when I arrived, somehow I mixed up the time
or was delayed, and I missed the film, and something

(08:41):
inside of me actually kind of gave a sigh of relief.
I don't know why, it was just instinctive, you know.
And I know the guy who was the projectionist, and
he said, why didn't you sit down? It's so good.
I'll just sit here and show it again just to you,

(09:02):
and I felt, oh, dear, I guess I'm going to
see this. This film was a big deal because it
showed a lot of people who Mother Teresa was and
it inspired a lot of women to join her order,
including a number of the former sisters we spoke to.
So I wanted to watch it, and I watched it

(09:23):
with Allen, who is a producer on the show and
also my sister. So basically, there was this guy, Malcolm
Muggridge who was a TV commentator and filmmaker, and he
interviewed Mother Teresa in London for TV and he honestly
thought the interview wasn't very good. I think it called
it barely usable. Yeah, but they aired it anyway and

(09:45):
it ended up getting this huge response. So he decided
to go to Calcutta to make an entire film about her,
and it's this film, something Beautiful for God. It's an
interesting film to watch. You see all of the Indian
locals who are in difficult situations. They're sick or dying,
they have leprosy. I doubt the film crew asked their

(10:06):
permission to film them. They don't talk with them directly,
they don't feature interviews with them. It's like Muggerage is
interested in what Mother Teresa is doing, but not so
much in the people she's doing it for. Yeah, And
basically what happens is Mother Teresa shows Muggerage around and
at one point she comes up to these cribs of

(10:27):
babies just crammed in these cribs like sardines, and she
picks a baby up that's really a tiny baby, and
she kind of holds it out for the camera and
strokes the baby's head, and the baby looks very sick.
I could see if you are watching this and you
wanted to help people in the world, it's like, well,

(10:48):
these people need help. They're right in front of you.
And that becomes even more clear when they go to
the Home for the Dying, where there are just rows
of cots of very thin, sick looking people, their hair
cut short, and Mother Teresa tells Mugridge that they've cared
for over two people there that half of them have died,

(11:10):
and Mugridge asked this question. He basically says that some
people might say, why keep these people alive at all?
And Mother Teresa says that she wants to show them
love before they die, and she quotes someone she says,
they live like animals, but now they die like angels.
Now they die like angels. Sister Kathleen watched all of

(11:40):
this alone and the auditorium and upstate New York. In
ninety three she joined the Missionaries of Charity, and she
remembers the first time she met Mother Teresa. Somebody said
Mother's here, and when I saw her, something struck me.
I I felt like I fell back a little bit.
There was a force, a power, a presence that moved

(12:05):
me somehow, and she said, come, come, and that's how
I met her. In the early nineteen seventies, Mother Teresa
was just at the start of her rise to fame,
but over the coming years she'd become an international figure,
meeting with the likes of Kofe and Nan, Nancy and
Ronald Reagan, Queen Elizabeth the Dalai Lama. There were critiques

(12:26):
of Mother Teresa to be sure and we'll get to
those but in the public eye she was a living saint.
She could look right through you. She would look right
into your soul, into the depths of your soul. I
loved her. She she was. I mean, people say, well,
she's just human and all of that. Yes she was,

(12:47):
but she was a little bit above humanity. Joan Worcester
was a sister with the Missionaries of Charity in the
nineteen eighties, and she said the same type of thing
about Mother Teresa. And when you talk to her, you
could held that because when she talked to you, she
wasn't looking at you like we look at each other
and we're talking. She almost looked through you, almost, Jones says,
like she could see into your soul. But what was

(13:10):
in hers? It surprises me sometimes how much isn't known

(13:39):
about Mother Teresa's life. The information we do have is
often clouded with an accuracy, is repeated over and over.
But here's what we do know. Mother Teresa was born
in in an Albanian family in the city of Scorpia,
now part of North Macedonia. Back then, her name was
Anya Gonju. We think of Mother Teresa as this impoverished figure,

(14:03):
but her family was pretty well off When she was young,
her father was sort of a celebrity in their town.
He was a member of the town council, a businessman,
and an activist. But when she was around nine years old,
her father died. He may have been murdered because of
his political activism. A few months after that, seven more
close relatives died. It was the nineteen eighteen flu pandemic,

(14:26):
and they've gotten the Spanish flu years later, when she
was famous mother, Teresa wouldn't publicly talk about her childhood much,
but it seems her Catholic family became even more religious
after her father's death and the loss of her other
family members. As she told malcol Muggridge, she felt the
religious call when she was just twelve years old and

(14:48):
since then this four pears, I've never dealted even for
a second that I've done the right thing. It was
the real of good. That was his choice, and that
has given you complete serenity in peace and happiness, the
happiness that no one can take from them and has
never been a doubt or unhappiness. When she was eighteen,

(15:11):
she joined the Loretto Sisters, a Roman Catholic order in
Ireland known for its schools and so Anya's became Sister
Mary Teresa. She chose the name Teresa after St. Terres,
a saint known for valuing simple acts of kindness. The
Loretto Sisters stationed Sister Teresa in Calcutta, India. The city
she becomes synonymous with. What happened was when Mother Teresa

(15:34):
was here. You know, she's so white, a vibrant city.
This is Shantony Chacobardi. He's a history professor at the
University of Calcutta and an expert on contemporary Indian history.
In the nineteen twenties and thirties, when Mother Teresa arrived,
India was under British rule. Of course, there was a
lot of colonial exploitation. Indian industrialization was hampul to a

(15:57):
large extent. But you know, Colonia connection also linked up
India globally. People are moving to Calcatta from all over.
There is a Buddhist revivalist movement, and in the thirties
it was an epicenter to the country's film industry. All
the major movie studios were located here. With the Loretto Sisters,
Mother Teresa taught at a school for girls and later

(16:19):
became headmistress. In seven she took her final vows and
following Loretto custom, became mother. She was no longer Sister Teresa.
She was now Mother Teresa. Then came September. Mother Teresa's

(16:40):
thirty six years old. She's on a train to a
retreat in the foothills of the Himalayas, and she hears
a voice. The voice, as she called it, it was
very clear and distinct. That's Father Brian Colladay Chuck. He's
an MC priest and Superior General of the MC Fathers.
The one person from the Missionaries of Charity who agreed
to record an interview. He edited the book on Mother

(17:02):
Teresa's divine calling, compiled her personal letters, and studied her spirituality.
Father Brian says Mother Teresa knew that the voice was Jesus,
and that Jesus told her to follow a new calling.
He said to quote, give up all and follow him
to the slums to serve him in the poorest of
the poor. In a letter, Mother Teresa writes that Jesus

(17:25):
told her, quote, little one, give me souls, Give me
the souls of the poor, little street children. He said,
I want Indian missionary sisters of Charity who would be
my fire of love amongst the very poor. The sisters
that would offer their lives as victims of my love.
Would bring these souls to me. Jesus will say, speaking

(17:47):
of the poor, they don't know me, so they don't
want me. You go and be my life. Her call
came at a pivotal time and cut his history. August
sixteen to nineteen ninety six is known as the Great
Calcutta Killing in India. Mother Teresa was there. Here's Shantony

(18:10):
Chaco party again. In ninety six, you had severe communal
rats in the cities between Hindus and Muslims, as a
result of which, you know, you had dead bodies festering
in the drains for five to ten days, a lot
of people, you know, killed or named for life. Somewhere
between five and ten thousand people died. This all happened

(18:32):
just a month before Mother Teresa heard that voice on
the train. Then, in ninety seven, India gained independence from
Britain from the country was partitioned into India and Pakistan.
Violence broke out near the border with what is now Bangladesh.
Fifteen million people were displaced from their homes. Refugees flocked
to Calcutta, and the first thing which must have struck

(18:53):
her was the huge number of people simply living on
the streets, and she started catering to them, and erhaps
to this strained them to her sense of mission. After
Mother Teresa's calling on the train, she experienced visions for months.

(19:15):
Father Brian writes that during this time she enjoyed an
intense degree of union with our Lord. He likens it
to a kind of spiritual ecstasy. Mother Teresa wrote, I
have been longing to be all for Jesus, to identify
myself with Indian girls completely, and so love him as
he has never been loved before. I thought it was

(19:35):
one of my many mad desires. She tells her confessor
what Jesus said. Eventually she tells the archbishop too. She
wants to start a new congregation of religious sisters, as
Jesus instructed, but she's rebuffed. They want her to slow down.

(19:58):
They need prayer and reflection and time to see if
her call is true. At one point to even say
she's not allowed to think about it anymore. Mother Teresa obeys,
but when they opened the door, she goes full force,
writing letter after letter she needs to obey Jesus's call
to Finally, after two years it pays off, the Pope

(20:18):
grants her permission to form a new congregation. In nineteen
Mother Teresa officially founds the Missionaries of Charity under the
Archdiocese of Calkatta. By the way, what she created was
technically a religious institute, not a religious order, and they're
not actually nuns. They're religious sisters. Nuns live contemplative lives,

(20:39):
while religious sisters are active out in the world, but
these terms are used interchangeably all the time, and even
former MC sisters will call themselves nuns. The Missionaries of
Charity started with just twelve sisters. At first, Mother Teresa
planned they live off of just rice and salt, but
she was advised that's not enough to survive on. They

(20:59):
weren't dan. Sorry is their habit? Mother Teresa said, Jesus
told her to quote dressed in simple Indian clothes, or
rather like my mother, dressed simple and poor. So Mother
Teresa chose as sorry that resembled with women who swept
the street. Would wear the blue stripes and the border
would represent the Virgin Mary and purity, and their mission

(21:19):
would be to serve the poor. But not quite how
most people understand it. I think Mother Teresa often said
that the m c s were not social workers because
for her, helping the poor was not an end in itself.
It was the means of expressing love for God. It
was all for God. Let me explain, and em C

(21:41):
houses around the world you'll find painted in big letters
the words I thirst. It comes from the Bible, the
Gospel of John, when Jesus is dying on the cross
and says I thirst. Mother Teresa interpreted his words metaphorically.
She said he thirsted not for water, but for love,
for sacrifice. She believed the m C mission was to
sayciate that thirst, and the way to do it was

(22:02):
to quote love, suffer and save souls. Here's Mother Teresa
addressing a group of sisters before they take their vows.
We are fully consecrated to Jesus to serve the poorest
of the poor. And by so doing, to say she
it is dust, the dust of Jesus on the cross

(22:25):
for love for souls. By working at the salvation and
sanctification to the poorest of the poor. In short, love
the poor like you love Jesus and bring souls to him,
or you could say conversion. Mother Teresa knew this would
be hard. Father Brian says, she signed up for suffering.

(22:47):
Your vocation is to love and suffer and save souls.
To love, suffer and save and save souls. You know,
because as she would say, thirst quench, say ship Jesus
first for love and souls. And Mother Teresa did just that,
even when her suffering became great and she did suffer.

(23:11):
This is how she put it in her letters and
the work. There will be complete surrender of all I
have and all I am. There will be nothing absolutely left.
Most of us have secrets, parts of ourselves we try
to hide, and Mother Teresa wasn't any different. She labored
with a deep darkness, a spiritual darkness, but none of

(23:34):
the sisters in the congregation knew. She kept it to herself.
I've never bult it even for a second, that I've
done the right. Think it was the really good. That
was his choice, and that has given you complete serenity
and peace and happiness, that happiness that no one can
think from me. It has never been a doubt or unhappiness. Yeah.

(24:01):
In reality, almost immediately after she formed the m c S,
the foundation of her life cracked. That Jesus, who had
been speaking to her calling her, he went silent. She
couldn't feel God's presence anymore. Instead, prayer felt dry. She wrote,
there are such terrible darkness within me, as if everything

(24:21):
was dead, and it would stay that way the rest
of her life. Almost fifty years. Mother Teresa's darkness was profound.

(24:50):
She only told a handful of people about it, her
confessors and the Archbishop. She wrote early on, to him
your grace, there's so much contradiction in my soul, such
deep longing for God, so deep that it is painful,
a suffering, continual no faith, no love, no zeal. Souls
hold no attraction. Heaven means nothing to me. It looks

(25:13):
like an empty place. But to the world she smiled.
By the nineteen seventies, Mother Teresa's Order was booming. They
expanded through most of South America, and after the success
of the documentary Something Beautiful for God, they just kept growing.

(25:33):
It seemed like mother trees. It was everywhere at once.
She received international awards. Em SE houses opened around the world,
including the US, with a continent in the Bronx. Despite
her unyielding schedule, she still spend time with sisters like Kathleen.
Sister Kathleen remembers what she calls the early days when
Mother Teresa would visit the Bronx in the summer. She

(25:54):
would come and the first thing we would do was
pack the van and go on the picnic with her.
It was so much fun, Sister Kathleen remember is one
of these picnics, someone had donated a tin at chocolate
chip cookies homemade, which we never got. And one of
the sisters knew I loved cookies. She used to call
me cookie Monster, even though we didn't have a lot

(26:15):
of cookies around. But she brought this tin over to me,
and my eyes popped open and I showed great delight.
And I looked over the front of the van and
I saw mother looking at me. Mother Teresa, and I
felt so embarrassed, and so I composed myself. And we
never saw those cookies during the picnic. And it was

(26:36):
on the way home. I was driving the van and
Mother Teresa got the cookies and started breaking them up
and was reaching from behind me and putting them on
my lap so I could eat little pieces of cookies.
And I think I got more than anybody else too.
She was so afraid I would be left out, but

(26:57):
that was her thoughtfulness. She had that mother instinct with
the sisters as well as the poor. Of course, Sister
Kathleen has lots of fond memories of Mother Teresa, like
one groggy morning when she and Mother arrived in Rome
after being up all night in an airport for a layover.
I was dead tired. I was ready to drop, and

(27:18):
I said to the sister in charge there, please let
Mother go to bed. Sister Kathleen insisted Mother gets some rest.
She hadn't had any sleep. Mother would not hear of it.
Mother Teresa was not going to bed, And I saw
her go in and sit down with these young postulants
that were joining, and her face became the face of

(27:40):
an eighteen year old with rosie cheeks, and I couldn't
believe it. She wanted to inspire them in her own
quiet way. And I went off to bed. After these
touching moments with her sister, she'd be off. She received

(28:02):
more awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize. She opened a
contemplative branch resisters, another one for brothers. She added priests.
The congregation grew really exponentially for a congregation within a
founder's lifetime. But this growth meant Mother Teresa worked constantly.
Every time she opened a new foundation, a new house

(28:24):
of sisters, she always had something to suffer. One time
she got up during the night to go to the bathroom,
and instead of the bathroom door, it was the staircase
to the basement, and she fell down the basement stairs
broke her arm. Another time she did something to her foot.

(28:44):
She said, every new foundation she had to suffer, she
had to make a sacrifice for it. It's mysterious, it's deadly,
and it's baffling medical science. Acquired immune deficiency syndrol. The
gay plague, as AIDS has been called, is the center
of a political storm, the moral majority claiming age is

(29:07):
God's punishment for the gay lifestyle. And Christmas Eve, Mother
Trees opened one of the first AIDS hospice centers in
the United States. It was a fourteen bad guest house
in Greenwich Village to your aviator, sunglasses and a stony
expression to the press conference, all business more lou reed
than the Saint of the Gutters. Sister Kathleen was an

(29:29):
m C at the time. We would take the people
that really had no place else to go. We didn't
have televisions for them and all the amenities. It was
really bare bones. After New York they opened AIDS hospices
in other cities. That was a very controversial move. There
was a lot of opposition from the neighbors, particularly in Washington,

(29:52):
and they would have meetings and they would present these hypotheses.
If somebody up at the AIDS home blows their no
or bleeds into a Kleenex or something and drops it
on the ground, and then my dog grabs the Kleenex
and brings it to my house, are we all going
to be contaminated. They did not want us in their neighborhood,

(30:14):
but Mother was determined. Did you get a sense we're
any sisters scared when opening these AIDS homes so early on, No,
none of us would ever express that, because it's like
being in the army, you're prepared for war. In a sense.
We were always in a war of good against evil.

(30:46):
In the nineties, Americans agreed Mother Teresa was the most
admired woman in the world in an annual gallop hole twice.
Everybody in Rome knew who Mother Teresa was, and she
would be accosted every where. Mary Johnson says, Mother Teresa
drew huge crowds especially at professions. When new groups of
sisters professed their vows, people would would fill the church

(31:10):
every time, no matter how big it was, and on
the way from the church to the convent, we'd have
to form this kind of honor guard. The sisters surrounded
Mother Teresa to hide er when they walked in public,
but the stories were a dead giveaway. Eventually they came
up with a new method using Vatican ushers. These are
big guys, and they would come and form like a

(31:33):
circle around Mother Teresa walking from the church to the convent,
just so that people wouldn't wouldn't crush or literally crushed
or wanting to touch her. Sister Kathleen says Mother Teresa
didn't enjoy the attention. Once we were in the airport
with her and a woman came up to her and said, oh,

(31:54):
Mother Teresa, I'm writing a book about you. I can't
believe you're here and I get to meet you. And
Mother Teresa looked at her as as though she had
two heads, so puzzled looking, and she said to the woman,
have you nothing better to do? The last thing on

(32:18):
Mother Teresa's mind with any notoriety publicity, she she found
it a terrible burden. Actually, she hated to have her
picture taken. She just genuinely hated it. So she said,
I told the Lord for every photo, I want to
soul out of purgatory to go to heaven. And that

(32:40):
was the only reason that she would agree to get
her photo taken. And there are a lot of photos
taken in Mother Teresa. A gazillion Gazilian purgatory has to
be empty right close to it. At this point, people
already saw her as a saint. They're pretty sure she'd
be and I some day, and Mother Teresa saw the

(33:01):
possibility to one day. I remember so much. She had
all of us gathered around and she told us, you know,
I think all of you should hurry up and die.
That is what you should all hurry up and die,
because this pope is canonizing everybody WHOA completely WHOA. It

(33:27):
also didn't feel like her commanding us all to die. Okay,
let's be clear, But it confirmed to me something that
I had very long suspected that being named as saint
was something very significant in Mother Teresa's eyes. When I
think of looking at Mother's face, I remember it as

(33:49):
tired and in later years, like stretched, stretched with a
kind of full of gravity, of burden of labor. And
she asked Pope John Paul the Second, what am I

(34:09):
to do? I have all these invitations and at the
same time I have the responsibility for the congregation. And
he said, you give loving care to the people, and
then you give necessary attention to the sisters. Give necessary
care to the sisters, but loving care to all the people.

(34:31):
And she took this to mean that the Pope and
therefore God wanted her to limit her time with the
sisters to what was only essential, and to spend all
the rest of it accepting all of these invitations she
was getting to give speeches, to receive doctorates, to whatever,
and there's not what she wanted. At the risk of

(34:56):
overstating it, Mother Teresa became a victim of her own success,
as she would put it, a willing victim of Jesus's love.
One expert told me Mother Teresa was used by individuals, institutions,
and countries for their own purposes. But he said Mother
Teresa was shrewd. She had her own mission, and as
he put it, she used her users just as much.

(35:29):
One of the more unusual images of Mother Teresa was
filmed on a street in the Bronx. Mother Teresa and Diana,
Princess of Wales holding hands. Mother Teresa and her sary
and sandals. Princess Diana in a suit and heels. Mother

(35:51):
Teresa was very ill. She'd had three surgeries in the
previous year. Her recurring hard issues were getting worse. Plus,
according to the Associated Press, she had lundon kidney problems too.
In just a couple of months she would die. Princess
Diana visited because of Mother Teresa's poor condition. It wasn't

(36:12):
the first time they met. Mary Johnson remembers she was
there in Rome a few years earlier. In for me,
Diana and Mother had so many things in common, it
was it was crazy. It does seem crazy, given how
differently they lived, the class difference alone, but they were
both icons in the nineteen eighties and nineties, sort of

(36:33):
symbols of love, promoting humanitarian causes and advocating for the downtrodden.
They both navigated old institutions, one the Catholic Church, the
other the British monarchy, both of them working within these
very closed systems, these very demanding traditional roles of one
sort or another, and both of them had internal suffering.

(36:55):
They tended to hide. Princess Diana once said public side
was a different obviously from the private side. Public side
they wanted to pair and said touched and everything were
turned to go, and who I worried? We've forgotten? Sure
did they realized that the individual was crucifying herself inside.

(37:17):
On the day of Prince Sanna's first visit, Mary Johnson
woke up at her usual four or forty in the morning.
Paparazzi were already crowded around the convent. That afternoon, Diana
arrived by limousine, and Mother told me, don't let anyone
else in the chapel, and just Mother and Diana for now,
all right, And so I kind of stood guard out there,

(37:38):
not letting anybody else in. Mother Teresa removed her worn
out sandals, and Diana took off her shoes too, and
Diana these beautiful black pumps, and these two shoes were
the only ones right outside the chapel. And you saw
their shoes and these two women inside brain and it
was beautiful. When Diana visited her again five years later

(38:01):
in the Bronx, other Teresa looked pale. After they both
waved to the crowd Lady Dyed bent over to say
goodbye to Mother Teresa with a hug and a kiss,
and then drove off. It was the last time they
would see each other. M hm hm. Princess Diana died

(38:35):
in a car crash six weeks later. Mother Teresa died
a week after that. She was seven. According to testimony,
on the day of her death, she lay in her
room at the mother House in Calcutta. Her breathing was labored,
she complained of back pain, and an hour and a

(38:56):
half before she died. M there is a power outage.
The lights went out in Calcutta. Mm hmmm. During her life,

(39:20):
Mother Teresa had her critics, harsh critiques behind her simple
message of love, they saw something else. I would say
that practically everything about Mother Teresa is a result of myth,
conscious lies and hyperbly next time on The Turning. The

(40:22):
Turning is written by Allen lance Lesser and me. Our
producers are Allen lance Lesser and Emily Foreman. Our editor
is Rob Rosenthal, Andrea A. Suage is our digital producer.
Fact checking by Andrea Lopez Crusado. Special thanks to Amy Gains,
Sarah oh Lender, Catherine Joyce, Beth and Macaluso, Travis Dunlap,
and consulting producer Mary Johnson. Her memoir and Unquenchable Thirst

(40:45):
provided inspiration for this series. Our executive producers are Jessica
Alpert and John Farratti AT for Coco Punch and Katrina
Norville and I Heart Media. Our theme music is by
Matt Reid. For photos and more details on the series,
follow us on Instagram at for Coco Punch. You can
reach out via email to the turning at for Coco
Punch dot com I America Lands. Thanks for listening. D
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