Saint (Sister) Teresa of Calcutta made it her life’s ambition to help the poorest of the poor. Knowing no other country could spell the word devastation better than India, she bid farewell to her native Albania, never to return.
Her mission in India remained hidden in the slums of Calcutta until a 1969 documentary flushed the work she was doing out of hiding and into full view of the wide-eyed public. She gained instant world recognition and was later awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and a Congressional Gold Medal. Then in 2016, in what some claim was an act by the fledging Catholic church to revitalize their lameness, Pope Francis changed Teresa’s title from Mother to Saint in a canonization Mass in the Vatican.
In the years following Saint Teresa’s death in 1997, first-hand reports began surfacing of widespread abuse. Her mission had spread to 100 countries with an approximate 517 clinics. It’s been reported that very few people received medical care at any of them, though many came seeking. There were no painkillers, there was never enough food to go around, no one on staff was medically certified, and conditions were beyond filthy. Hypodermic needles were reused again and again until they became too blunt.
From within the walls of Saint Teresa’s home for special needs children in Calcutta came stories of the staff tieing up certain children, particularly the more severely disabled. Tightly binding baby’s bodies so they could not move during feeding time, then roughly twisting their heads into position. Deplorable living conditions. Lack of nutrition. No real medical care to speak of. A constant shortage of soap and water. Disturbing reports like several staff members laughing at a child who urinated on himself while strapped to a gurney came to light. There were more, many of them much more ghastly.
Sister Teresa raked in the dough after the documentary aired and her organization continues ringing the cash register to this day. Though conditions have immensely approved, and an ongoing regiment of volunteer Doctors are giving better care than we probably get, and at a much better price, why did it take Saint Teresa’s death to put this train in motion? What was she doing with the money when the gravy train started rolling in?
The good sister began hobnobbing with the likes of Haiti’s former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier and Albania’s communist leader Enver Hoxha. As Saint Teresa’s sphere of popularity grew, she was seen anywhere other than Calcutta, her presence in high demand among the elitist of the elite.
Sorry to say, but it took her being out of the way for anyone to realize the tremendous outpouring of love that was avalanching in. At any rate, things have changed and the funds are now being used for their intended purpose, so if you happen to donate to this worthy cause, please don’t stop.
Worthy of Sainthood? Hard to say. One could say the old gal worked with what she had, which for a long time was little to nothing outside of a strong faith. Unfortunately, regardless of what Benny Hinn and his misguided sheep claim, faith ain’t never healed no one of nothin’. Had she maybe tired of living a pauper’s life and decided it was time for a little self-attention now that she had some coin? Or, maybe she felt being in the spotlight would bring even greater attention to her cause. Let’s go with that one. It makes the most sense. Still. She spent a lot of money.
If you must judge this Pope deemed Saintly woman called Teresa, at least consider this. Who amongst you would jump smack dab in the middle of the poorest part of India with nothing but the habit on your back and the will to make a difference? Well? Who? She may not have personally saved anyone, but because of her selfless efforts, she brought world awareness to a dire situation. Now, thanks to those efforts, all of the good she could not singlehandedly pull off, is finally being done.
Once again. Worthy of Sainthood? What do you think?