CHILE, Fr. Carlos Cox •
Mother Teresa of Kolkata’s second visit to Chile took place between 12 and 15 September 1982 and I was asked to drive her to a youth meeting. At the time, I was a young priest and was working as the under-secretary of Misión Joven [Youth Mission] for the Archdiocese of Santiago. During the trip in my Volkswagen, I became witness to a story that reflects the Mother Teresa’s humanizing gaze.
As I arrived to fetch her from the Sister’s House in the area near the Central Station, a journalist came up to me who wanted to interview Mother Teresa for “Cover Story,” an important magazine at the time.
She proposed accompanying me on the trip and interviewing her during this time. I told her it was not up to me and that I would ask. I asked her and she said it would be fine.
As we set out, the journalist sat in the front passenger seat.
As we were leaving, Mother Teresa with her soft voice asked me if we could pray the rosary. Of course, I answered. The journalist looked at me and clearly wasn’t very happy.
The prayer and songs ended shortly before we arrived at the place (the gymnasium of the Academy of Humanities College in Recoleta). Immediately the journalist turned around, started her voice recorder and began asking Mother Teresa about her opinion of Chile, its poverty, its political system, etc…Mother Teresa looked her in the eyes and asked her:
“Are you married?”
“Yes,” she answered hesitantly.
“Tell me, do you have children?”
“Yes,” she said, “And their names are…”
In that moment the journalist “disappeared and a mother appeared” and started talking about her children. Meanwhile, we arrived at our destination, I stopped the car and the journalist asked me: “Fr. do you have something so that she can write a few words for me? I give her a notebook and a pencil. Mother Teresa wrote a few words, said a friendly goodbye, and stepped down from the car. I remained with the journalist, who said to me: “Thank you Father. I will write the article with material from the archives.” And she left to cover the event.
On the return, as I was about to climb back into the car, Mother Teresa, who was already in the house, turned around and told me: “Father, now I remember, you are the brother of the lady who translated for me. I forgot to say goodbye to her. Please tell her thank you from me.”
I had a copy of the New Testament and it occurred to me to ask her to write something, which I have kept as if it were a saint’s relic. “Dear Fr. Carlos, be completely only for Jesus. Show others only Jesus. God Bless you. Mother Teresa.:”
This is what she said to the youth of Chile on 15 September 1982:
“In Scripture, we read that God so loved the world that he gave his Son to Mary, the purest one. With Jesus’ coming, Mary was filled with grace, filled with Christ. And she, on receiving Jesus – that was the day of her First Holy Communion – went out and shared him with others. Why did she go to her cousin Elizabeth? She went to be a servant, to serve. And something extraordinary happened – the baby in Elizabeth’s womb jumped for joy. It is extraordinary that God chose an unborn child to proclaim the presence of Christ. Today, the child that is to be born is not wanted, is unloved, despised, aborted, assassinated by its own mother. Without doubt, God speaks to that child and says: ‘Even if a mother were to forget her child, I will not forget you, I have engraved you on the palm of my hand. I have called you by your name. You are mine.’ The waters will not drown you, the fire will not burn you. You are most precious to me. I love you…”
Source: “Vínculo” Magazine, Chile, October 2016
Original: Spanish. Translation: Sarah-Leah Pimentel, Cape Town, South Africa