MY EXPERIENCE WITH MOTHER THERESA IN CALCUTTA

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I was continuing my life in the service of this Community in Rome, when our Priest told me to get ready to leave for India. The news did not excite me. I was frightened and, besides, my family and my Spiritual Father did not agree with this decision. The departure was imminent. It was a difficult experience because we had to face the difficulties of being there without a house; in fact, Mother Theresa was so worried about us, because we were too young to live in those realities, She personally arranged for us to find more suitable accommodation. Experiencing the reality of Calcutta, full of misery and poverty, I had a cry in my heart for all that suffering, so, as soon as I had the joy of meeting God’s Mother, I asked Her:”Why don’t You appear here, but appear in Italy?” and She answered with a smile: “My son, if I come to Italy, it’s because you’ve forgotten God and the Word of God. I cannot ask these children to fast, make sacrifices and do penance. It’s you who have lost God and His Word, and I come to renew it for you. In my experience in India, in fact, I could experience that the smile was never missing in those people. After about a year of living in India, I started to feel physically ill: I had shrunk to 39 kg! My situation was getting worse. I had a very high fever and the nuns used to treat me with old-fashioned methods, the only ones available to them. At that moment Mother Theresa, who was very worried about my health, decided to send me back to Italy, accompanying me personally, but recommending not to spread the news of Her arrival in Rome. She gave me a precious gift. She gave me Her Crucifix, making me promise to take care of myself. From Calcutta, Mother Theresa took me to Bombay, informing me that I would stay for a day in a male-house of Her Community. No one there spoke Italian, and I was so afraid that Mother Theresa would forget me there, perhaps because She was busy. My fear was so evident that the people, who were there, realized I was frightened and tried, in vain, to calm me down. On the wall of my room, I noticed the image of Our Lady and spent the whole night kneeling at Her feet, asking Her that Mother Theresa would not forget me the next day. In fact, it was a great joy for me to see Her again the next morning. During the flight, I still had a fever and She had a blanket with which She covered Herself. At one point, She touched my forehead to check my temperature, after which She covered me with Her blanket, which I still jealously guard today. It was a long but unforgettable journey. Despite my state of health, it was a great gift for me to fly with Mother Theresa She was like a mother to me, caring and loving. When we arrived at the airport, Mother Theresa noticed many people waiting and asked me why there were so many people waiting for us. I replied: “Mother, it’s only my mother and some of the family!” Mother Theresa wanted to meet my mother personally, hugged her, and blessed her for the gift of a large family She gave each of us a Miraculous Medal. She blessed us and left

I went home to my mother to recover, but, as soon as I recovered, I returned to the Community in Acilia, much to the disappointment of my family. They hoped that I had returned to them forever. When I returned to the Community, I lived my days as I had done in the beginning, just as if I had never left. The time, needed to finish the work on the structure that was to receive us in Calcutta, passed. Our Missionary Priest, who had stayed there in the meantime, sent me a letter asking me to return to Calcutta with Sister Elvira and her boys, and I did. I took with me a dear friend, Franco De Santis. This departure was more serene and joyful for me than the previous one, because I knew what awaited me. I was not alone: my friend, Sister Elvira with her boys, and Mirka, the sister of the Medjugorje visionary Marija Pavlovic, were with me. The arrival in Calcutta was very eventful because, with Sister Elvira and Mother Theresa, we were always going around looking for a structure to open for Sister Elvira’s community in Calcutta. Now I don’t remember the exact dates, but I remember a moment that marked my life forever. It was December 1990. A group of young men and I, after a period of formation, had to take our vows to the “Brothers of the Word”. However, I had a moment of fear, because I did not understand whether this was really my call or whether I was simply caught up in the joy and the moment. was convinced that I wanted to love God above all else. I was aware that I had to say my “YES” to Him, but I wasn’t completely ready for this step; I didn’t feel worthy and I spoke about it with the priest in charge, who suggested talking about it with Mother Teresa. So I did. Despite many difficulties, since I did not speak English, I managed to get Mother Teresa to understand me, and she, with much love and simplicity, reassured me by telling me: “You don’t have to worry! It can be seen that you have not yet found the branch to lean on. When you find it, you will stop. In any case, you will make a Consecration that will last, as long as you are here with us in Calcutta”. So it was. A few days after my brothers’ Consecration on the way, I also made my promise.

It was 25 December 1990. I had a religious service to myself and another boy What an emotion! An unforgettable moment! As soon as I entered the little Chapel of the Motherhouse, there was a great sign for me: a big star with Our Lady inside, the same as the one in Oliveto Citra. This was a great confirmation for me! Today, I jealously guard with great joy a video documenting this magnificent experience, a video that was authorised to me by Mother Theresa Herself. After my consecration, I continued my life in Calcutta in close contact with Mother Theresa, working in Her houses, bringing help and support to the neediest brothers and sisters. (more…)

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