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Treasury of Blessed Mother Teresa Swells with Gems in 'A Personal Portrait'

Longtime companion presents never-before-told stories about the messenger of love

Contact: Alexis Walkenstein, 561-445-5409, AWalkenstein@MaximusMG.com; Kevin Wandra, 678-990-9032, KWandra@MaximusMG.com

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 5, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- Blessed Mother Teresa is known around the world -- but not because she liked to talk about her life. "I don't really like to talk about myself," she would say, "because when people speak or write about me, then they speak or write less about Jesus."

That story is one of many never-before-heard insights that make Mother Teresa of Calcutta: A Personal Portrait so fascinating. The new book, by her longtime companion and confessor Msgr. Leo Maasburg, is available now from Ignatius Press. A Personal Portrait includes 23 chapters with 50 never-before-heard stories about this remarkable woman and her impact on the world. Never-before-seen color photos of Mother Teresa beautifully illustrate the book.

This new and riveting account reveals Blessed Mother Teresa as an expert on re-gifting, as a powerful prayer warrior, a reader of hearts, advocate for the poor and mother of the unwanted teaching lay people and priests alike how to be holy as she exemplified limitless trust in God in every circumstance.

Msgr. Maasburg traveled around the world with Blessed Mother Teresa -- and sometimes for her. Along the way, he witnessed numerous miracles and incredible, little-known events at her side.

Throughout the book, Msgr. Massburg provides numerous in-depth accounts of a holy woman determined to serve the Lord and the poor. His stories reveal a humorous, gifted, wise and arresting woman who provided a message of hope for our time. It's the life story of one of the most important women of the 20th century.

He learned the power of her "Quick Novena," and how her recitation of one prayer nine times -- in the moment -- was always followed by a 10th recitation in thanksgiving because she believed God listened and answered as quickly as she prayed and asked.

He also learned of her strong belief in the Miraculous Medal. Blessed Mother Teresa gave out more than 40,000 of the sacramental medals throughout her life, including one that Msgr. Maasburg carried and left behind in the Kremlin.

"Now here is a book that I could not put down!" said Fr. Larry Richards, author of Be a Man. "Msgr. Leo Maasburg gives us such great insight into this very human and very holy saint. In it, he not only shows us why Mother Teresa was a saint but points the way for us also to become saints: become people of prayer. Read this book!"

Writing in the preface, Msgr. Maasburg describes Blessed Mother Teresa as "an extraordinary, irreplaceable, shining 'star' -- surrounded not by the rich and the beautiful but rather by the poorest of the poor, the deformed, the outcasts of society."

Mother Teresa died in 1997, and was beatified by Blessed Pope John Paul II in 2003. "Virgin Mary, Queen of all the Saints," John Paul II prayed near the conclusion of his homily during the Beatification Mass, "help us to be gentle and humble of heart like this fearless messenger of love."

For more information or to request a review copy and/or an interview with Msgr. Leo Maasburg, please contact Alexis Walkenstein (561-445-5409 or AWalkenstein@MaximusMG.com) or Kevin Wandra (678-990-9032 or KWandra@MaximusMG.com) with The Maximus Group.