Princess Diana of Wales talks with Mother Teresa’s second-in-charge, sister Lynne Frederick during her 45-minute visit to the home of the 81-year-old Nobel laureate in Calcutta on February 15, 1992.
AFP PHOTO / RAVEENDRAN
Radhakrishna N S
By Amit Roy
PAUL BURRELL, 59, former butler to Diana, Princess of Wales, has revealed the contents of a handwritten note she sent him after visiting Mother Teresa’s home, Nirmal Hriday, in Kolkata in February 1992, enclosing a prayer.
I was there with her at the time and can confirm she was moved to tears, as were all members of the accompanying British press party.
But I didn’t know about the letter in which the vulnerable princess, whose marriage to Prince Charles was in its last stages, wrote: “Today, something very profound touched my life. I went to Mother Teresa’s home and found the direction I’ve been searching for all these years.
“The sisters sang to me, a deeply spiritual experience and I soared to such heights in my spirit. The light shone from within these ladies, saints for want of a better word, such love came from their eyes and their touch was full of warmth.
“I was then taken by Sister Federica to the chapel to pray with the novices and sisters. They sang the Lord’s Prayers and with our shoes off we prayed together on our knees.”
I was very nearly barred from going inside by a local police inspector who blocked my path: “Shudu (only) British press.”
Seeing my predicament, one of the photographers, a burly six-footer, reached out, grabbed me by the collar and yanked me in with the words: “He’s with us.”
Mother Teresa was detained in Rome because of illness, but later met Diana and formed a close bond with her. Diana was killed in a car crash, aged 36, in a Paris tunnel on August 31, 1997. Mother Teresa passed away five days later, aged 87, in Kolkata.