New Delhi (AsiaNews) - On the occasion of the centenary of the birth of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, which is celebrated on 26 August, AsiaNews continues to collect the testimonies of those who lived with the Blessed.
Sister Kusamam is 48 years old and entered the Missionaries of Charity in 1985. For most of her 25 years as a consecrated religious, she has helped abandoned or unwanted children through adoption. She spent two and a half years with Mother Teresa and from her learned to serve Jesus through the poor. In September 2004, along with six other sisters, she was beaten by 40 men, while distributing food to the poor inhabitants of a shantytown on the outskirts of Calicut, Kerala. Sister Kusamam still bears the marks of her beating, along with an "inexplicable" joy.
What happened in September 2004?
We would have been burnt alive had it not been for the presence of Mother Teresa. We were attacked because we were Missionaries of Charity, but the Mother was present to protect her daughters. Of this fact, we have no doubt.
The poor people lived in shacks with no amenities such as roads, water or electricity. Once a month we brought them five kilos of rice and some second hand clothes. Today the suburb has a real road and vehicles can reach it. The inhabitants have electricity and a well. I also told the Chief Ministers of Kerala that if our sufferings and endured beatings were helpful to the poorest of the poor, we did what we are called to do: serve the poor with our lives and our testimony. Mother was clear, we are called to be channels of love of Jesus through our work for the poorest of the poor.
How have the beatings suffered by you been helpful to the poor?
I am full of joy because I can participate as a Missionary of Charity, in the sufferings of Christ. Even today, I still suffer the consequences of those beatings. I have frequent headaches because I was hit several times in the head and the sight of my left eye is impaired and it gives me problems. But nothing can take away from the joy I feel in seeing those poor people that we help with second-hand clothes and five kilos of rice per month to live with dignity. Their condition was in fact highlighted by the blows we have received. In addition, Mother always told us: never look for success, but always be faithful.
You care for abandoned children. Who gives you these children and how do you react when you receive a child?
We have 34 children from 0 to 10 years. Often unwed mothers give us their babies at other times, the hospitals give us children that unwed mothers leave them, for adoption. Finally, there are many abandoned children.
Every time I receive one, I thank God, it is a great joy to see that these children have not been aborted. We are so grateful that today these mothers choose not to kill their children. Despite a successful culture of death in society, they have the courage to carry the pregnancy to term and give their children for adoption.
What do you say to mothers who leave your home, after having given up their children?
We comfort them and encourage them, telling them that they are not murderers, but that they gave value to life. Although the world marginalizes them because of their unwanted pregnancies, they are bearers of life.
Why are you always so cheerful?
My Spouse, Jesus pampers me and adorns me with everything to keep me young, happy and joyful,: like a good husband, who showers his wife with good things, to keep her beautiful and happy, so also my Spouse gives me more than I can ever hope for. All I desire is to be faithful to him, and to serve him by serving the poorest of the poor.