David and Mercedes Rizzo share the story of how Mercedes' grandfather received an unexpected visit from Mother Teresa.
In the 1970s, Mother Teresa came to the Philadelphia area. She was attending the Eucharistic Congress. While she was there, a woman was ill in a hospital very close to where we live. Someone arranged for Mother Teresa to visit her. At the same time Mercedes’ grandfather was also a patient at this hospital. His daughter, a Sister of St. Joseph, learned that Mother Teresa was coming to the hospital. She made the request that Mother Teresa visit her father as well. Mother Teresa graciously agreed. She visited him and said prayers at his bedside. Although he passed away shortly afterward, those present said he rested much more comfortably after Mother Teresa's visit.
As Mother Teresa was exiting the elevator after the visit, Mercedes’ parents were waiting to enter the elevator. For a moment they stood in the presence of Mother Teresa, a memory they never forgot. She was already well-known for her works of charity and her overall compassion. Even then, it was clear to many that she was on the road to sainthood.
That hospital is still there today. It is not an area we go by all that often, but every time we do we wonder what our own reaction would have been if we were waiting for an elevator and Mother Teresa stepped out. What would it feel like to be in the presence of a future saint?
We also remember the kindness and compassion that Mother Teresa showed to Mercedes’ grandfather in his final days.
Two quotes attributed to Mother Teresa stand out to us:
Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.
God speaks in the silence of our hearts.
It’s clear to us that in her life and compassionate service to others, including Mercedes’ grandfather, that Mother Teresa manifested the love of God by spreading His love to all.
Copyright 2023 David and Mercedes Rizzo
Images: copyright 2023 David and Mercedes Rizzo, all rights reserved.
About the Author
David and Mercedes write and speak from a faith perspective as parents of a child with autism. They are available to speak, and have appeared on radio and other media. Visit DavidAndMercedesRizzo.com to learn more. Follow them on Facebook at Autism With The Rizzos. Authors of Praying For Your Special Needs Child, (Word Among Us Press) and Spiritually Able and The Adaptive First Eucharist Preparation Kit (Loyola Press).