A meal with Mother Teresa I remember well. An extraordinary atmosphere was associated with it. Holiness met with Holiness. There were quite a few meetings with Mother Teresa – those more and less official – but this dinner was probably in 1997, shortly before Mother Teresa’s death. I think so. And, it was to me a unique one. There was so much good in these conversations, so much love for another man. John Pau II was not inviting nuns for meals. For Mother Teresa he did an exception. He wanted to distinguish her and show that he supports her work, so he invited her to his table.
-They were united by extraordinary friendship…
-You can say that they understood each other without words. The Holy Father admired the work of Mother Teresa, her great charism. He admired how she was caring for the poor and the abandoned, that she lived in poverty, bringing to the people the most neglected, the light of hope.
-Even though, for years she lived in darkness. In her diary, Mother Teresa wrote that she felt abandoned by God. Did she speak about this with John Paul II?
-I do not know this for sure. But I think that the Holy Father rather did not know about it. Mother Teresa was a like Holy Father in a sense that she was in her faith, in her prayer, in her relations with God very discreet. Hence, I am guessing that they did not talk about it. But I am not sure. They talked a lot about helping, about the Missionary of Charity work, also at the Vatican. (…) The Holy Father was always saying that he has a great appreciation for her and when he was meeting influential people who could help, he always recommended her work.
-How he accepted the information about her death?
-He did not show anything, but he accepted it with a great sorrow. I was seeing a great sadness on his face. She was dear to him. We watched the funeral on TV. Then, during the Angelus prayer in Castel Gandolfo, he was saying about Mother Teresa: “I met her several times and she lives in my memory as a tiny figure whose whole life was a service to the poorest people, a tiny figure, but always full of endless spiritual energy, energy of love for Christ.”
-And, he made the decision about prompt beatification.
-The Holy Father even wished to have canonization, but upon meeting with the Cardinals, the decision was made to follow the procedure, that at first there will be beatification. John Paul II decided that the process would start sooner. Already, six years after her death – in the year 2003 – he proclaimed Mother Teresa of Calcutta blessed.
With the consent of Archbishop Mokrzycki “He liked Tuesdays the most”
M Publisher, Kraków 2008