Mother Teresa’s 1959 retreat – 13

Thirteenth Day
Under the protection of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Cause of our joy

Aim: To put myself in the right dispositions for my final offering

Examination: Am I ready to make this final offering with real love and complete surrender?

Take and receive, O Lord, my liberty
Take all my will, my mind, my memory.

All things I have, and all I own are Thine;
Thine was the gift, to Thee I all resign.

Do Thou direct and govern all and sway,
Do what Thou will, command and I obey,

Only Thy grace, Thy love on me bestow
Possessing these, all riches I forgo. Amen

— Saint Ignatius of Loyola

Readings: Saint Luke’s Gospel, Chapter 7, verses 36 to 50; Chapter 15, verse 11 to 32

The Imitation of Christ: Book 3, Chapter 10

Reflection of the Day: Let me have full confidence in the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Cause of our Joy


Note: The next and last page of Mother Teresa’s retreat notes are missing. (Notes from Day 7 are also missing.)

Mother Teresa’s 1959 retreat – 12

Twelfth Day
Under the patronage of Mary, Queen of Heaven

Aim: Union with the Risen Jesus in His Great Glory; to acquire a great confidence in the goodness and greatness of my Redeemer

Examination: My Love for the Church

  1. Do I really look upon the Church as the “Mystical Body of Christ”?
  2. Do I burn with zeal to make the Church known and loved by all men?
  3. Do I try to conform my judgments with the directions given by the Church through the Encyclicals, Pastoral Letters, Directions, etc.?

Readings: Psalm 65; Matthew 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 20 & 21

The Imitation of Christ: Book 3, Chapter 49

Reflections of the Day:

Joy to thee, O Queen of Heaven
He whom thou was meet to bear
As He promised, hath arisen
Pour for us to Him thy prayer.

When we stand sooner or later at his judgment seat, the questions put to us will be:

What have you done?
How have you done it?
Why did you do it?

Mother Teresa’s 1959 retreat – 11

Eleventh Day
With Mary, the Mother of Sorrows

Aim: To spend the day in union with the sorrow of Jesus and Mary in order to strengthen my resolutions

Examination: My desire to die to the world and to self love

  1. Do I keep my Rule No. 88? This rule tells me to love with humility so earnestly that I may accept humiliation readily, even with joy?
  2. Do I receive correction and admonition in the spirit of faith without excuse or complaint?
  3. Am I ready to accept suffering out of love for Jesus and Mary?

Readings: Isaiah 53; any passage from the Passion of Christ (New Testament)

The Imitation of Christ: Book 3, Chapter 19

Reflection of the Day:
“O my people, what have I done to you? How have I offended you? Answer me! I led you out of Egypt, from slavery to freedom, but you have led your Savior to the cross.”
(from hymn “Reproaches,” based on Micah 6, sung for veneration of the Cross during Good Friday liturgy)

Rule 88: Let them love humility so earnestly that they may accept humiliation readily, and even with joy. Therefore they shall receive correction and admonition in the spirit of Faith without excuse or complaint.

Mother Teresa’s 1959 Retreat – 10

Tenth Day
With Jesus in His Agony

Aim: To spend a day in reparation for the sufferings I have made Jesus bear for me

Examination: My Spirit of Mortification

Exterior Penance

  1. Do I perform all these penances in the spirit of faith?
  2. How do I take the discomforts due to the climate, ill health, common life, poverty, etc.?

Interior Penance

  1. Am I resigned interiorly to the trials which God sends me?
  2. Do I try to hide the little sufferings of my daily life?
  3. Do I accept Desolation as readily as Consolation? Do I accept Dryness in Prayer as a grace of God?
  4. Do I put up with the defects of others?

Readings: Saint John’s Gospel, Chapters 14 & 17

The Imitation of Christ: Book 2, Chapters 11 & 12

Reflection of the Day: “Father, he said, if it pleases thee, take away this chalice before me; only as Thy will is, not as mine is.” (Luke 22:42)

“I can [relieve] the sufferings of Jesus. I can take a part from His suffering.” Thank you for telling me.—This was a tremendous grace to me.
— Saint Mother Teresa’s retreat notes

Mother Teresa’s 1959 Retreat – 9

Ninth Day
Under the patronage of the Holy Martyrs and Virgins

Aim: To finalize all my resolutions and to be quite definite about what Christ expects from me

Examination: My Duties of State

  1. Do I observe all my Rules?
  2. Do I give my best effort to the different duties? And works assigned to me?
  3. Do I show preference for one work rather than another? Do I let everybody know when the work I have is not liked by me?
  4. Do I avoid interfering in another’s work?
  5. Do I pray for the success of the work of other Sisters?


The Imitation of Christ: Book 3, Chapter 54

Reflection of the Day: “Be ye perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)

Mother Teresa’s 1959 retreat – 8

Eighth Day
Under the patronage of the Holy Apostles

Aim: To make my plan of Life for the years following my Final Profession. My plan must be made with great clarity, courage, and supernatural outlook

Examination: Fraternal Charity

  1. Do I observe my Rules No. 86 and 87? Do I love each of my Sisters with an intense love, without being concerned at all about nationality or social standing?
  2. Rule 104: Do I try to make the children I teach happy? Do I respect the good name of my pupils and not talk carelessly of their faults?
  3. Rule 106: In what spirit do I visit and look after the sick? Am I an angel of comfort and consolation?
  4. Rule 112: My care for the Dying.
  5. Rule 120: My love for the poor. Does Christ radiate and live his life in me in the slums? (Rule 86)
  6. Rule 125: Supernatural outlook in my work—seeing Jesus in all strangers.
  7. Do I seek to encourage my Sisters, making them happy? Do I consider myself as their servant in Christ?
  8. Do I accept the unavoidable little difficulties of community life patiently? Forgivingly? With a sense of proportion and a sense of humor?
  9. Am I charitable to my Superiors? Seeking by my behavior to lighten their burdens; defending rather than criticizing their decisions?

Readings: Saint Luke’s Gospel, Chapter 10, verses 25 to 37

The Imitation of Christ: Book I, Chapters 14 & 16

Reflection of the Day: “Whatsoever you have done to the least of my brethren, you have done it to ME.” (Matthew 25:40)

Mother Teresa’s 1959 retreat – 6

Sixth Day
Under the patronage of Saint Francis Xavier

Aim: To follow the beautiful example of Christ’s humility and obedience

Examination: My Love of Humility

  1. Have I habitually got a lowly opinion of myself? Or do I judge others harshly in thoughts and express these in words?
  2. Without any morbidity, can I truly say that I enjoy humiliations, since these make me similar to Christ?
  3. Do I show my humility by my perfect sincerity to my Superior and to my Confessor? Do I hide things from them?
  4. Do I avoid trying to “shine” in front of outsiders?
  5. Do I try to appear better than I truly am?
  6. Do I have obedience of the will and judgment?
  7. Do I desire for humble offices, for being ignored and humiliated?
  8. What are my reactions when I am just forgotten by my Sisters and outsiders?

Readings: Book of Psalms 107, 128

From your Constitution: Chapter XIII, Nos. 97–132

The Imitation of Christ: Book 3, Chapter 54

Reflection of the Day: “Learn of me, for I am meek and humble of heart.” (Matthew 11:29)

Fr. Joseph Rickaby writes:

How does the work of God suffer at my hands? This is the question of questions to put oneself during a Retreat. In my Retreat I want to get at facts, to think straight, to find out betimes now the truth that will come in upon me at death, to ascertain as nearly as may be how I stand with my God, to have my relations with my Creator dissected out.

Resolutions: At this stage of the retreat, I should be getting my resolutions ready. These resolutions must be: 1) according to the present needs of my soul. 2) Something which may seem trivial to others, but which is of vital importance to me just now. 3) Something practical which I can put into practice immediately.

Mother Teresa’s 1959 retreat – 5

Fifth Day
Under the patronage of Saint Joseph

Aim: To obtain a clear knowledge of the treachery of Satan and his followers and to live the “true” life which has been revealed to us by Our Lord

Examination: My love of Poverty

  1. Do I desire to be poor with Christ’s poor?
  2. Do I keep anything precious or superfluous, even though I may have permission for it?
  3. Do I always ask permission for what I receive?
  4. What is my attitude towards receiving gifts? Do I do my very best to avoid receiving presents from others? When out of politeness I receive something do I receive it only with permission?
  5. Am I inclined to share gifts only with some members of the community or do I, like a good religious, put these gifts at the disposal of my Superior?
  6. Am I happy to share in hardships which my state of life imposes on me?
  7. Do I really love Poverty as “My Lady Poverty” (Saint Francis of Assisi)?

Readings: Book of Psalms 45, 61

The Imitation of Christ: Book 3, Chapters 32 & 33

From your Constitution: Chapter VI, Nos. 42–56; Chapter IX, Nos. 74 & 75

Reflection of the Day: “The Son of Man hath not where to lay his head.” (Matthew 8:20)

Mother Teresa’s 1959 retreat – 4

Fourth Day
Under the patronage of Saint Ignatius

Aim: To acquire an intense desire and a firm determination to follow Christ my King, wherever He may lead me.

“Master I shall follow Thee wheresoever Thou goest.” Matthew 8:19


  1. How do I perform my daily exercises of piety? Do I keep to the prescribed time? Do I have internal and external reverence?
  2. Do I really consider Holy Mass to be the greatest action of my day?
  3. When visiting the Blessed Sacrament, do I really visit Jesus as my Friend, telling Him everything??
  4. Do I say my Rosary with fervor?

Readings: Saint Luke’s Gospel, Chapters 1 & 2

The Imitation of Christ: Book 2, Chapters 7 & 8; Book 3, Chapter 13

Reflection of the Day: Jesus says to me “I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE.” (John 14:6)

But the city of God, enriched with flowing waters, is the chosen sanctuary of the Most High, God dwells within her, and she stands unmoved; with break of dawn He will grant her deliverance.


Mother Teresa’s 1959 retreat – 3

Third Day
Under the patronage of Saint Mary Magdalen

Aim: To purify my heart


  1. Do I make use of the means of Purification which God has given me?
  2. How do I make my Examination of Conscience? Do I insist on Perfect Contrition and a Firm Purpose of Amendment?
  3. How do I make my Particular Examination? Am I sincere in my Confession? Am I humble?
  4. Manifestation of Conscience. Am I perfectly sincere to my Superior?

Readings: Saint Luke’s Gospel, Chapter 7, verses 36 to 50; Chapter 15, verse 11 to 32

The Imitation of Christ: Book I, Chapters 22, 23, and 24

Reflection of the Day: “Many sins are forgiven her because she has loved much.” (Luke 7:47)