St Teresa and Princess Diana — unlikely friends

When I first arrived at the shelter for unmarried, pregnant women in Washington, D.C., to start my position as a live-in housemother for the Missionaries of Charity (Mother Teresa’s Sisters), I wasn’t quite sure what to think.

The home was a lovely house located in a ritzy upper class neighborhood, complete with a white picket fence and a classy front door. I was only 21 and I had only been Catholic for a few months, but I knew enough to wonder how a house like this wound up as a shelter for one of the most austere religious orders in the world.

Soon after I settled in, I found out that the house had been given to the Missionaries of Charity by Princess Diana — or something of the sort. She had worked with Mother Teresa to found the shelter, a pro-life home for pregnant women seeking to adopt their children rather than abort them.

Princess Diana? I remember thinking. Isn’t she over in Wales? What would royalty have to do with a tiny, wrinkly, homey nun that owns ten things to her name – at best?

The short of it is that Mother Teresa cherished a profound and touching relationship with Princess Diana. Fascinatingly, Mother Teresa died only six days after Princess Diana had been killed in a car accident in 1997.

Immediately after Diana’s death, Mother sent a condolence message that said, “She was very concerned for the poor. She was very anxious to do something for them, and it was beautiful. That is why she was close to me.”

Over the years, the two iconic women met with each other from time to time. They once held a meeting at a convent in New York. Mother Teresa left the meeting embracing the hands of Diana, who helped the frail nun down the steps onto the sidewalk.

In February 1992, at a Missionary of Charity convent in a working-class district in Rome, they prayed together. In fact, Princess Diana was buried with a rosary given to her by Mother Teresa. They were, apparently, dear friends, despite the fact that their lifestyles sharply contrasted one another. Continue reading

  • Amanda Evinger is the grateful mother of three young children (and two others who have died), whom she homeschools with her husband Michael in a “little house on the prairie” in rural North Dakota.
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