By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation
Editor’s note. Today, September 5, is the 26th anniversary of Mother Tereas’s passing. In 2021, we asked Maria Gallagher to write about Saint Teresa of Calcutta.
In honoring her legacy, let us take to heart her words, and redouble our efforts to work for peace and justice by working for the eradication of the tragedy of abortion
By today’s standards—she died in 1997—Mother Teresa’s passing seems almost like ancient history. Yet, the lessons of her life of dedication are as relevant today as they ever were. They continue to teach us much about humanity and the gift of life.
Known best as a servant of the poorest of the poor in India, the Catholic sister who founded the Missionaries of Charity received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. In her address thanking God for the honor, the diminutive powerhouse cited abortion as the leading threat to peace.
“The greatest destroyer of peace is abortion,” Mother Teresa said. With her simple words, she clarified the issue, pointing out how abortion destroys lives.
But Mother Teresa was not one to simply talk a good game—she also took solid action, helping both mother and child in any way she could.
“We are fighting abortion by adoption, we have saved thousands of lives, we have sent words to all the clinics, to the hospitals, police stations—please don’t destroy the child, we will take the child,” she said.
A model of grit and grace, Mother Teresa knew that abortion did not elevate women. Rather, it was through giving the gift of life to their children that women could become empowered for themselves, their families, and their communities.
Mother Teresa went on to say, “So every hour of the day and night it is always somebody, we have quite a number of unwedded mothers—tell them come, we will take care of you, we will take the child from you, and we will get a home for the child.
“And we have a tremendous demand from families who have no children, that is the blessing of God for us.”
Mother Teresa proved that, to be a true advocate for the poor, one needs to also be a champion for life. She knew that marketing abortion to the poor was especially grievous, robbing them of the greatest of riches—an irreplaceable child.