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Saturday, September 6, 1997 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Nun And Princess Bound By Altruism

AP: Dallas Morning News

ROME - When Princess Diana met with Mother Teresa in Rome five years ago, she called it the fulfillment of a long-held dream.

It was the start of a special relationship between the princess and the nun.

Both dedicated their public lives to helping the poor and those cast aside by society, from the starving children of Africa to people with AIDS everywhere.

When Diana died in a car crash Sunday, Mother Teresa immediately sent a condolence message.

Mother Teresa called the princess "a very good friend, in love with the poor, a very good wife, a very good mother.

"She was very concerned for the poor. She was very anxious to do something for them. That is why she was close to me," Mother Teresa said then.

Their most recent meeting was in a convent in New York on June 18. Mother Teresa left the meeting holding hands with Diana, who helped the frail nun down the steps onto the sidewalk.

The two had scheduled their first meeting in London for the presentation of an award, but it was called off because of Mother Teresa's poor health.

It finally took place in February 1992 at her order's convent in a working-class district in Rome, where they prayed together.

Copyright (c) 1997 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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