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Statement on the Death of Mother Teresa

September 05, 1997

With the passing of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, the world has lost one of the giants of our time. She gave comfort to the poor, the suffering, and the dying, and served as an inspiration and a challenge to all of us.

Hers was a ministry of action—of passion and compassion. She led by serving, and showed us the stunning power of simple humility. Her unconquerable faith touched the lives of millions of people in India, here in the United States, and all around the world. I had the pleasure of meeting Mother Teresa when she came to Washington, and I was moved by her conviction and courage. Hillary had the privilege of working with Mother Teresa and her community to open a home for abandoned babies in Washington, and later Hillary and Chelsea had the opportunity to witness firsthand the work of Mother Teresa and her community in India.

The home for the dying she opened in Calcutta almost a half century ago is called Nirmal Hriday—"pure heart"—and if ever there was a pure heart, it was hers. Mother Teresa is gone, but as the Gospels teach us, these things endure: faith, hope, and love. She had them in abundance. They will stay with us always.

William J. Clinton, Statement on the Death of Mother Teresa Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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