Mother Teresa was a nun, a missionary, and founder of the Order of Missionaries of Charity, who dedicated her life to serving the poor.
Five Facts about Mother Teresa
She was born in Skopje, Macedonia
She became a nun at the age of 18
She lived and worked in India for 17 years
She was a Nobel Peace Prize winner
She had incredible organizational skills along with her compassion and love for humanity
Inspirational Quotes from Mother Teresa
“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.”
“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”
“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.”
“Love cannot remain by itself – it has no meaning. Love has to be put into action, and that action is service.”
Mother Teresa Biography
She was born to Albanian parents, Nikola and Dranafile Bojaxhiu in Macedonia. Her father was a businessman, and the devout family were heavily involved with the Catholic Church. Her father passed away when she was eight, and it was her mother who taught her the value of caring for the sick and poor.
She was educated at the nearby convent school and went on a trip to the Church of the Black Madonna in Letnice when she was 12. Later she became a nun, travelling to Dublin, Ireland, to join the Sisters of Loreto. She became known as Sister Mary Teresa.
Mission and Work
Her novitiate period began in Darjeeling, India. She was sent on to Saint Mary's High School for Girls, in Kolkata, where she taught girls from the city’s poorest families. Since she would be based in India, she learned to speak the local languages fluently.
When she took her final vows to live a life of poverty, chastity and obedience, she became known as ‘Mother’ as was usual with the Loreto order. She rose to become the Principal of the school in 1944. Her idea was to remove poverty from the students’ lives through education.
Within a few years however, she answered her heart’s desire to directly serve the poor and sick who lived in the city’s slums. It was very difficult to receive permission to leave the convent and set out on her mission, but after a prolonged period of lobbying, she was successful. She went into the terrible slums of the city, armed with a little medical knowledge and great compassion to care for the sick and the poor.
She convinced the city to donate an abandoned building, and there she set about creating a home for the city’s destitute. She also set up an open-air school under her new congregation, the Missionaries of Charity. Her work expanded visibly and she became known for her stellar work.
She established a leper colony, an orphanage, a nursing home, a family clinic and mobile health clinics in the city. Her efforts at providing effective care for the poor and unwanted garnered attention from Pope Paul VI, who conferred the Decree of Praise upon the Missionaries of Charity. In 1979, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her outstanding efforts to alleviate human suffering.
Her compassion and service brought relief to thousands of the suffering poor, and she was canonized as a saint by the Vatican in 2016.
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