Oprah Winfrey made a rare public appearance to honor her "angel friend" — late teen poet and peace activist Mattie Stepanek.
"Mattie lived the biggest, greatest life of anyone I've ever known. He lived his life with the light of love, and each of us has the power to do that in our own way," Winfrey told 200 people gathered Sunday at Borders books on State Street.
The event was a celebration of 13-year-old Stepanek of Maryland, who published several books and was a guest and friend of Winfrey's before his death from muscular dystrophy in 2004.
The teenager's final publication is "Just Peace: A Message of Hope," a posthumous book of essays and poetry.
"At the roll call of your life, at the end of your life, what really matters is who did you love and who did you offer love to," Winfrey said.
Also on hand was Mattie's mother, Jennifer Smith Stepanek, who lost all four of her children to muscular dystrophy and suffers from the disease herself.
Stepanek, on a national book tour to support her son's last book, told of being at a thrift store with then 6-year-old Mattie, who picked out a book called "Oprah Winfrey: A Self-Made Woman of Many Talents."
The boy read the book and said, "Mommy, Oprah Winfrey is part of God's plan for me," Stepanek said.
Winfrey described Mattie as "a dear, sweet, angel friend of mine."
"I've met a lot of people in my life, but I've never met anyone like this little boy, who seemed to come from another world," Winfrey said.