Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta
Our dear Mother Teresa
For 50 years every native and stranger in Calcutta knew and admired the superhuman effort of the tiny human being, dressed in the poorest cotton sari - Mother Teresa and her Missionaries of Charity; the effort of picking up people, who were lonely dying of exhaustion, poverty and tropical diseases, out of the gutter and dirty foul-smelling streets; the effort of placing them in 'the homes for the dying' and offering medical help, love and human kindness during the last hours of their earthly pilgrimages. Every inhabitant or stranger knew or heard about the self-sufficient estates, towns for lepers, with doctor's and nurse's care, with social help, shops, laundries, vegetable gardens and flock, which were run by lepers themselves.
When I temporarily stayed in Calcutta in 1980 the orphanage, the pride of Mother Teresa, fascinated me. In the orphanage there were things, which one could hardly imagine. The lives of girls, who were born in high castes and cursed because their births brought discredit on the family since a son was needed. It was the son that would lead the family's father to the creator god Brahma; otherwise the gods: Shiva and Vishnu (destroyer and saviour) would take revenge on him. These girls are literally left in rubbish heaps and streets. Some die and some are seriously injured. In Calcutta, especially in the rich districts, I saw the posters: 'I am waiting for your girl, give her to me - Mother Teresa'.
Now my rapture: a large hall in a little palace, semi-darkness, a row of several playpens with wonderfully warbling babies, none is crying; there is a nanny at every playpen, there is a pile of clean nappies in every playpen and a container for dirty nappies next to it. Mother saved their lives. Tears of emotion - it is only God Almighty who can direct her motherly deeds. Outside the palace there is a kitchen for children and there are laundries; inside there is a modest room of Mother Teresa, with a big crucifix and perpetual adoration chapel, with nannies who keep going back and forth.
Being asked Mother Teresa explained that after he had received the Nobel Peace Prize she had no problems with houses and money and the only problem was recruitment of people. Her next work was to give jobs to the unemployed in the orphanage, mainly to women, followers of Brahmanism, who almost immediately became Catholics, being charmed by Mother Teresa, and joined the Order of Missionaries of Charity.
When I was introducing myself: my country, religion, profession, age, I felt more and more love for me. I also came from the communist country and my name was Teresa. Being emboldened I confined my troubles to her. I had had them for over twenty years and they were in fraudem legis in foro conscientiae, which I wrote about to the Holy Father in an imploring letter. Her reply was immediate: 'Let's go to the chapel'. Saying good-bye - blessing with the sign of the cross - and words 'work as much as you can and trust the Lord'. After having assured her that I saw all her girls she gave me her biography in return for my peculiar confession concerning my life and professional work. It was the book entitled 'Mother Teresa: Her People and Her Work' by Desmond Doig. Her prayer and blessing solved pro futuro my troubles, which were earlier unfeasible.
After having published the covenant between Mother Teresa and myself in Calcutta, I discovered an expressive beautiful sculpture of Blessed Mother Teresa, 155 cm high, made by Antoni Manulik, in the archcathedral in Gdansk-Oliwa. The artist informed me that he had won the first prize and gold medal for that statue in the International Sacred Art Contest. The reward was given by Cardinal Jozef Glemp. I very often go on pilgrimage to Blessed Mother Teresa in the Oliwa Archcathedral.
Teresa Likon from Sopot
The Author worked as ship's doctor in the Polish Ocean Lines.