Born: August 26, 1910
Died: September 5, 1997
Achievements: Started Missionaries of Charity in 1950; received
Nobel Prize for Peace in 1979; received Bharat Ratna in 1980.
Mother Teresa was one of the great servants of humanity. She was an Albanian Catholic nun who came to India and founded the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata. Later on Mother Teresa attained Indian citizenship. Her selfless work among the poverty-stricken people of Kolkata (Calcutta) is an inspiration for people all over the world and she was honored with Nobel Prize for her work.
Mother Teresa's original name was Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu. She was born
on August 27, 1910 in Skopje, Macedonia. Her father was a successful
merchant and she was youngest of the three
siblings. At the age of 12, she decided that she wanted to be a
missionary and spread the love of Christ. At the age of 18 she left her
parental home in Skopje and joined the Sisters of Loreto, an Irish
community of nuns with missions in India.
After a few months of training at the Institute of the Blessed Virgin
Mary in Dublin Mother Teresa came to India. On May 24, 1931, she took
her initial vows as a nun. From 1931 to 1948, Mother Teresa taught
geography and catechism at St. Mary's High School in Calcutta. However,
the prevailing poverty in Calcutta had a deep impact on Mother Teresa's
mind and in 1948, she received permission from her superiors to leave
the convent school and devote herself to working among the poorest of
the poor in the slums of Calcutta.
After a short course with the Medical Mission Sisters in Patna, she
returned to Calcutta and found temporary lodging with the Little Sisters
of the Poor. She started an open-air school for homeless children. Soon
she was joined by voluntary helpers, and she received financial support
from church organizations and the municipal authorities. On October 7,
1950, Mother Teresa received permission from the Vatican to start her
own order. Vatican originally labeled the order as the Diocesan
Congregation of the Calcutta Diocese, and it later came to known as the
"Missionaries of Charity". The primary task of the
Missionaries of Charity was to take care of those persons who nobody was
prepared to look after.
The Missionaries of Charity, which began as a small Order with 12
members in Calcutta, today has more than 4,000 nuns running orphanages,
AIDS hospices, charity centres worldwide, and caring for refugees, the
blind, disabled, aged, alcoholics, the poor and homeless and victims of
floods, epidemics and famine in Asia, Africa, Latin America, North
America, Poland, and Australia. In 1965, by granting a Decree of Praise,
Pope Paul VI granted Mother Teresa permission to expand her order to
other countries. The order's first house outside India was in Venezuela.
Presently, the "Missionaries of Charity"
has presence in more than 100 countries.
Mother Teresa's work has been recognised and acclaimed throughout the
world and she has received a number of awards and distinctions. These
include the Pope John XXIII Peace Prize (1971), Nehru Prize for
Promotion of International Peace & Understanding (1972), Balzan
Prize (1978), Nobel Peace Prize (1979) and Bharat Ratna (1980).
On March 13, 1997, Mother Teresa stepped down from the head of
Missionaries of Charity and died on September 5, 1997, just 9 days after
her 87th birthday. Following Mother Teresa's death, the Holy See began
the process of beatification, the second step towards possible
canonization, or sainthood. This process requires the documentation of a
miracle performed from the intercession of Mother Teresa. In 2002, the
Vatican recognized as a miracle the healing of a tumor in the abdomen of
an Indian woman, Monica Besra, following the application of a locket
containing Teresa's picture. Monica Besra said that a beam of light
emanated from the picture, curing the cancerous tumor. Mother Teresa was
formally beatified by Pope John Paul II on October 19, 2003 with the
title Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. A second miracle is required for her
to proceed to canonization.
Mother Teresa Pictures
Here is a collection of pictures of Mother Teresa. These images reveal different phases and facets of her life. These photos encompass her whole life journey.
Mother Teresa Quote
Here are some famous quotes by Mother Teresa. These quotes reveal her thinking and are a guiding light and source of inspiration to others.