Mother Teresa – Saint of Calcutta

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Serving people selflessly is a lesser known trait and one person who did this with élan was Mother Teresa. She was a Roman Catholic and was known as the Saint of

Calcutta for the extensive work that she did to help the poor and the needy in the city. She went on to find Missionaries of Charity with an aim to reach out to more needy people across the globe.

NameMother Teresa
Date of BirthAugust 26, 1910
ParentsNikollë Bojaxhiu, Dranafile Bojaxhiu
SiblingsAga Bojaxhiu, Lazar Bojaxhiu
Education Loreto Abbey, Rathfarnham

Early Life

Mother Teresa was born on 26th August 1910 in Skopje into a Kosovar Albanian family. At birth she was named AnjezëGonxheBojaxhiu. From a very early age, she was fascinated by the missionaries working in Bengal to help the needy. She resolved to commit herself to a religious life and at the age of 18, she joined the Sisters of Loreto at Rathfarnham to learn English.
In the year 1929, she went to Darjeeling in India where she started her novitiate. At the time she taught at St. Teresa’s School and also learnt Bengali. She took her religious vows in 1931 after taking the religious vows. She went on to take the name Teresa after becoming a nun. She finally took her solemn vows in 1937 while she was teaching at Loreto School. In 1944, she was appointed the principal of the school.

Life as a Missionary

In 1948, Teresa quit her job and began social work. She applied for Indian citizenship and trained at the Holy Family Hospital in Patna to learn the basic medical procedures. Her dedication to serve the people finally got her permission from the Vatican to start a charitable organization of her own.

Thus, in 1950 she established Missionariesof Charity with the aim of helping the needy. In the initial days the organization had just 13 members. In 1952, Mother Teresa opened a Home for Dying in Calcutta that offered free service to the terminally ill patients who could not afford costly treatments. The home was later named Kalighat.
Though Mother Teresa has worked for to improve the suffering of the sick and the poor, her work with the lepers was remarkable. She started a special home for them called ShantiNagar. In 1955, she established a children’s home called NirmalShishuBhavan for the orphans and homeless children.

Missionaries of Charity went on to open its centers in different parts of Asia, Europe, Africa and USA.

Awards

Mother Teresa has won many awards. Some of the important ones are

  • Nobel Peace Prize
  • Ramon Magsaysay Award for International Understanding
  • Bharat Ratna
  • Padma Shri
  • Order of Merit

Demise and Canonisation

Mother Teresa finally left for her heavenly abode on 5th September 1997 after fighting with heart ailments and a pneumonia attack. Immediately after her death, The Holy See started researching her to find more about miracles done by her. When two of such incidents came to the fore, she was canonized by Pope Francis on 4th September, 2016 and granted Sainthood.

Though Mother Teresa is no more, her Missionaries of Charity continues to operate in more than 100 countries across the globe. The Mother continues to be an inspiration to all.

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