MOTHER TERESA OF CALCUTTA: a Personal Portrait, by Msgr Leo Maasburg

MOTHER TERESA OF CALCUTTA: a Personal Portrait, by Msgr Leo Maasburg

Br Barry Coldrey

a Personal Portrait
by Msgr Leo Maasburg
(Ignatius Press, 2011, hardback, 206pp, $35.00. ISBN 978-1-58617-555-9. Available from Freedom Publishing)

Mother Teresa of Calcutta scarcely requires an introduction given that the mass media has presented her extraordinary achievements to the world over many years. She was a legend in her own time and an iconic figure after her death.

Among the numerous books written about Mother Teresa, what is distinctive about the present work? Importantly, Msgr Maasburg was closer to Mother Teresa than most of her biographers, being a friend for many years as her spiritual advisor, translator and confessor.

Maasburg travelled with her in India, Rome, and on many journeys ranging from Moscow, to Cuba and New York.

In the process, Maasburg witnessed numerous miracles and little-known occurrences – wonderful and delightful stories recounted in this book. For example, her launch of a Spanish orphanage without any funds and, at the same time, saving a declining railway company from ruin. Others concern her work in the Soviet Union after the Armenian earthquakes of 1988 and in Nicaragua where she confronted the Sandinista rebels. There are many more.

All accounts underline her limitless trust in God's love, of the power of faith to move mountains, and of hope that can never die. They reveal a humorous, gifted, wise and arresting woman who has a message for our troubled times.

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