04/03/2005, 00.00
india - vatican

Sr Nirmala: the Pope and Mother Teresa, united in a shared vision about life and the world

by Nirmala Carvalho
Both "missionaries with an intense and total love for God and men"; both spoke out against abortion.

Calcutta (AsiaNews) - John Paul II and Mother Teresa "had a shared vision" about the world and this "united them". This is what Sr Nirmala, successor of Mother Teresa of Calcutta as head of the Missionaries of Charity, told AsiaNews about the Pontiff who proclaimed as blessed the founder of the sisters with the saris.
Both the pontiff as well as Mother Teresa – according to Sr Nirmala - "were strongly vocal on moral issues and they were especially forceful in speaking out against abortion". Both were "missionaries with an intense and total love for God and men".
"I met the Pope many times", said the Nepalese sister, a Christian convert of Hindu origin. "But every time seemed like it was the first. The last such occasion was the beatification of Mother Teresa. Physically, the Pope was suffering very much; at the beginning of the celebration, he was feeling really unwell. However, for all the church - gathered in St Peter's square or in front of their television screens across the world - it was clear to see that by the end of the Mass, he seemed reinvigorated.  That was something extraordinary," recalled Sr Nirmala, "because usually a person gets more tired as time passes. Instead, the  Eucharist had revived the Holy Father, his face seemed
relieved and at the end, it appeared rested." The sisters of Mother Teresa heard the news of the
Pope's death "as they were in adoration". "For the past two days and nights our sisters have prayed
continuously for the Holy Father," said the superior of the Missionaries.
"The legacy the Pope leaves us lies in the fact that through his life, he touched the heart of humanity
thanks to his voyages, especially on all those occasions when he had special meetings with marginalized people, the poor and oppressed."
Sr Nirmala is leaving for Rome where she will attend the funeral of the Pope.
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