By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation
Decades have passed since the death of one of the world’s best known patrons of the poor, Mother Teresa of Calcutta. In the years since her passing, she has been proclaimed a saint by the Roman Catholic Church, and numerous books have been written about her incredible life of self-sacrifice.
Perhaps less well known, but powerfully significant, is the role Mother Teresa played in rebuilding a culture of life. She did not see a wall between helping the poor and aiding the preborn—she saw it all as part of her mission to share God’s love with the world.
In the book Praying with Mother Teresa: Prayers, Insights, and Wisdom of Saint Teresa of Calcutta, author Susan Conroy, who knew Mother Teresa personally, includes some of the legend’s most noteworthy quotes on the issue of life.
“The greatest destroyer of peace in the world today is abortion, because it is a direct war, a direct killing,” Mother Teresa said.
“If we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell people not to kill one another?”
Those quotations seem especially prescient. In the 21st century—the century Mother Teresa did not live to see—violence seems ever-present. The failure to recognize the sanctity of innocent human life at its conception leads to a refusal to honor life at other stages of development.
Mother Teresa’s words were not hollow. She was willing to take on the responsibility of caring for and raising a child—if it would mean that a child’s life was spared:
“Please don’t kill the child,” she said. “Give me the child.”
Mother Teresa’s indomitable spirit lives on…in the order of Sisters she founded…and in the hearts of all those who work to protect precious lives from abortion. Her legacy lies in the lives she saved…the souls she healed…and the people she inspired.
May we never forget the power of her life-affirming message.