Next month, Pope Francis will host a canonisation ceremony in the Vatican City and is set to confirm Mother Teresa as a Saint.
The Catholic faith has verified two miracles performed by the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize winner, qualifying her for Sainthood.
Former City of Bunbury councillor Alfred Leigh has used the event as a chance to share the story of his family’s meeting with the legendary ‘apostle of the poor’.
“On Sunday, April 18, 1987, our family attended Easter morning mass at the Chapel of The Missionary of Charity in India,” Mr Leigh said.
“At the conclusion of the mass, one of the nuns approached us and when we looked closely we saw it was Mother Teresa herself.
Mr Leigh said Mother Teresa was very moved when she saw his two-year-old son Naeill reverently making the sign of peace.
“Mother Teresa asked if she could take Naeill to her room and when she returned with him, she had pinned a medal of Our Lady on his shirt,” Mr Leigh said.
“We told her of our plans to migrate to Australia and she gave our family a special blessing, telling us we would have a safe flight and Australia would be good to us’.
The Leigh family arrived in Darwin on April 21, 1987 via Perth and moved to Bunbury in 1988.
Since then the family have prospered with their eldest son Dylan graduation from the University of Western Australia while Naeill graduated from the University of New South Wales and completed an MBA at Harvard University.
Upon hearing the news of Mother Teresa’s imminent canonisation, friends encouraged the Leigh family to write to the Vatican City to share the story of their interaction with Mother Teresa.
Mr Leigh’s wife Linda said she was very surprised to not just receive a letter in return but a personal invitation to the service in Italy on September 4.
“We were very touched to receive four tickets for the service in St Peter’s Square and while we are not able to attend, the invitation means a lot to us,” she said.
“We are firmly of the belief that our family were and continue to be blessed by God and Mother Teresa and are thrilled to know that she will be canonised as a Saint.”
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