Mother Teresa

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Something beautiful

Malcolm Muggeridge was a journalist, broadcaster and the editor of Punch magazine. In 1969 he went to Calcutta to make a documentary about Mother Teresa for the BBC.

 Something beautiful

At first, Mother Teresa was reluctant to participate, but on the advice of the Church finally agreed, saying, ” Let us do something beautiful for God.”

The first time he met her, he said:

“It was, for me, one of those special occasions when a face, hitherto unknown, seems to stand out form all other faces as uniquely separate and uniquely recognizable. I knew that, even if I were never to see Mother Teresa again, the memory of her would stay with me forever.”

“The sight of her, or even the thought of her always gives me a great feeling of happiness,” he recalled.

The experience of filming was an unusually happy one. “It proceeded with quite exceptional smoothness and speed. There were none of the usual breakdowns and crises. Above all, there was no bickering or quarrelling. All this, as anyone with experience of filming expeditions will know, amounted to a kind of miracle.”

He also believed that an actual miracle blessed the filming. The hospice was dimly lit and the cameramen insisted it was impossible to film there without better lighting, which they could not get in time. Nevertheless they went ahead with the filming.

“In the processed film, the part taken inside was bathed in a prticularly beautiful soft light, whereas the part taken outside was rather dim and confused.”

How could this be explained?

Said Muggeridge: “Mother Teresa’s Home for the dying is overflowing with love, as one senses immediately on entering it. This love is luminous, like the haloes artists have seen and made visible round the heads of the saints. I find it not at all surprising that this luminosity should register on photographic film.”

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About this module

Mother Teresa of Calcutta was one of the most famous Christians of the 20th century, depite living and working among the poorest people of India and treating them as if they were Jesus himself.

These pages were written by Steve Tomkins.

Categories: Lives, Biographical,


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