In 1997, a frail and diminutive form lay on a hospital bed in Kolkata. Her skin was pale, almost translucent, and her arms and shoulders, as they appeared over the hospital coverlet, were gaunt. Nurses and doctors hovered anxiously at the bedside of their 87-year-old patient who was exciting such curiosity from the outside world and the press.
Mother Teresa had been brought in to the hospital a few days back. She had been suffering for some time now, with ailments of the heart and the trespasses of old age were showing on her body.
She had suffered two heart attacks in 1983 and 1989 and in 1996 she had suffered a left ventricular failure which left her in need of surgery. At one point, the ageing nun had wanted to retire and give over her work to another.
But over the decades of her work with her order, she had inspired such faith and belief, that even as Mother Teresa's body started to fail, her followers reaffirmed their faith in her and begged her to continue to lead them.
One can never tell when evil will sweep into even the most sacred of lives and when the mark of satan will try and mar the most holy.
Now, as the medical staff cared for the ailing nun, strange problems started to arise.
During the day, she would be reportedly, relatively quiet. But as night fell, a strange restlessness would come over her. As the darkness deepened outside, the nun would reportedly thrash around, and even in her weakened state, display sudden strength and pull off hospital monitoring equipment which was attached to her body.
She would become agitated, and remain disturbed through the dark hours. Despite the best of care, sleep eluded her and nothing seemed to be able to calm Mother Teresa.
At that time, the archbishop of Calcutta, Henry D'Souza, was also hospitalised there and he and the nun shared the same doctor. When he came to know of her distress, he said, "When doctors said they could not find a medical reason for her sleeplessness, I thought she might be getting attacked by the devil... I wanted her to calm down and ask a priest, in the name of the church, to perform an exorcism prayer on her."
Thus with the consent of the nun, Father Rosario Stroscio of Sicily performed an exorcism on Mother Teresa.
The 79-year-old Father Stroscio, a Roman Catholic priest and exorcist, later himself said he spoke "the prayer of exorcism to drive out evil spirits..." He told the press that the Nobel-winning nun had been behaving a little oddly and was "acting strange" just before the special prayers began, but was calm and restful afterwards.
The archbishop kept silent about the exorcism at that time but broke his silence four years after the death of Mother Teresa. There was much controversy when the news first broke out in the press, but the archbishop said that it simply proved Mother Teresa's human side and was a mark of her closeness to god. Later, there were reports in which he tried to deny it, but old notes and the fact that Father Stroscio said that he spoke the prayer of exorcism, proved otherwise.
This is interesting, I had actually not heard of this despite it being old news, I am glad that the priest was able to help her so she could live her last days in peace, had she have died possessed though would this have altered anything for her? that would be interesting to know, and something I don't know a great deal about.