Mother Teresa encourages A-bomb survivors, deplores nuclear weapons in visit to city

With eyes full of love and a warm handshake, on November 23 Mother Teresa made her first visit to Hiroshima during which she offered words of encouragement to A-bomb survivors and blessed children. Mother Teresa, 74, who has devoted her life to the poor and the hungry, put that same conviction and action to work in Hiroshima.

In the afternoon she visited Funairi Mutsumien, a care facility where 240 A-bomb survivors reside. She wore a smile on her face throughout her visit and her eyes were filled with love.

She spoke slowly to the survivors who gathered in a large room on the facility’s fifth floor, saying, “God loves all of you. Let us pray together.” Before visiting the care facility, Mother Teresa repeatedly joined her hands together prayerfully before the aging hibakusha who had come through the horrors of the bombing that she had seen in a stop at the Peace Memorial Museum prior to her visit.

On the first floor, where there are about 50 survivors, many of whom are bedridden, she went to the bedside of each person and offered words of encouragement. She took the hands of each person into her own soft hands, which are large for her small frame. She patted the head and stroked the cheek of one bedridden resident and said, “God bless you.”

Before she departed, Kiyoshi Shimizu, director of the facility, said to Mother Teresa, “You shook hands with each and everyone alike. You are truly a person from whom we can learn love and respect for life.”

At the Peace Memorial Museum, Mother Teresa could not conceal her shock and repeatedly said, “I’m at a loss for words” and “Unbelievable.” As she beseeched those nearby to pray, they joined their hands together in a prayer for the souls of the A-bomb victims and for peace. “The same sorts of nuclear weapons are still being made, so I worry that the same sort of horror will happen again,” Mother Teresa said.

Although she spent a mere six hours in Hiroshima, throughout her stay Mother Teresa greeted everyone she met with a heart full of love. When leaving Peace Memorial Park she said, “When I work with people who are suffering, I will be able to offer them even more love than before.”

(Nov. 24, 1984)