Mother Teresa, in all aspects of her life, was a generous dispenser of divine mercy, making herself available for everyone through her welcome and defense of human life, those unborn and those abandoned and discarded. She was committed to defending life, ceaselessly proclaiming that “the unborn are the weakest, the smallest, the most vulnerable”.
Pope Francis also reminded us of how Mother Teresa inspired hope in those that felt discouraged and under-valued:
Mother Teresa loved to say, “Perhaps I don’t speak their language, but I can smile”. Let us carry her smile in our hearts and give it to those whom we meet along our journey, especially those who suffer. In this way, we will open up opportunities of joy and hope for our many brothers and sisters who are discouraged and who stand in need of understanding and tenderness.
Looking back at Mother Teresa’s life, one can find so many inspiring words and recall many speeches directed towards world leaders. One in particular comes to mind. On February 3, 1994, Mother Teresa of Calcutta spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC. Those in attendance included President Bill Clinton, his wife, Hillary and VP Al Gore.
I often read quotes from this speech, such as:
But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself.
And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?
But, unknown to many, Mother Teresa continued in that same speech to speak of adoption:
I will tell you something beautiful. We are fighting abortion by adoption – by care of the mother and adoption for her baby. We have saved thousands of lives. We have sent word to the clinics, to the hospitals and police stations: “Please don’t destroy the child; we will take the child.” So we always have someone tell the mothers in trouble: “Come, we will take care of you, we will get a home for your child.” And we have a tremendous demand from couples who cannot have a child – but I never give a child to a couple who have done something not to have a child. Jesus said. “Anyone who receives a child in my name, receives me.” By adopting a child, these couples receive Jesus but, by aborting a child, a couple refuses to receive Jesus.
Please don’t kill the child. I want the child. Please give me the child. I am willing to accept any child who would be aborted and to give that child to a married couple who will love the child and be loved by the child.
From our children’s home in Calcutta alone, we have saved over 3000 children from abortion. These children have brought such love and joy to their adopting parents and have grown up so full of love and joy.
As an adoptive mother who longs and prays for more children, my heart leaps with gratitude when I read these words.
I want to thank Saint Teresa of Calcutta for speaking about the hope and life adoption provides. I want to thank her for letting me and all other adoptive parents know that she saw the value in adoption – for everyone involved.
Thank you, Saint Teresa of Calcutta, for speaking of and praising the beauty of adoption.
Thank you, Saint Teresa of Calcutta, for reminding us to love the expectant mother.
Thank you, Saint Teresa of Calcutta, for sharing with the world how adopted children bring love and hope to their parents and they too grow up full of love and joy.
I don’t know what Saint Teresa of Calcutta is the official patron of; but in my heart, she is a patron for adopted children, women who have placed a child with an adoptive family and adoptive parents.
Saint Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us . . . and thank you.