Sep 2, 2016 / 06:29 am
Twenty-two years ago, Mother Teresa of Calcutta quietly visited the Regina Coeli prison in Rome, and now, just days before her canonization, she has “returned” for another visit, thanks to the help of technology.
The Regina Coeli prison in Rome, located not far from the Vatican, hosted an emotional encounter of detainees and two Missionaries of Charity – members of the congregation that Mother Teresa founded – who were able to bring the soon-to-be saint to life through a documentary film teaching more about her.
The prison currently houses 900 detainees, but in years prior, it had come to hold some 1,200. Father Vittorio Trani, a Conventual Franciscan and prison chaplain for 38 years, knew them all. He explained to CNA that Mother Teresa visited the prison in May 1994.
“She came somewhat incognito. I gave permission so they would let her in (because of the heavy security measures) but I didn’t tell anyone about it. She came in and attended Mass with a few detainees. It was very emotional,” he related.
“We had set aside a nice chair for her in the middle, but when she came and saw it, she looked at me and said no and went to another simple chair that was in the back,” the priest recalled with a smile.
“Like other great saints, Mother Teresa has a lot of importance here also because the detainees see her as someone close (to them), she had that ability to be close to people,” he noted.
The priest explained that “we organized this encounter; it’s a very good occasion for the prisoners who don’t know her to get to do so” but especially to “bring them the message she came to announce to them.”
“This Sunday, the day of the canonization, we will celebrate a Mass, and then afterwards everyone will be able to see the ceremony on the television they have in their cells,” he said. …
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