BIOGRAPHY OF MOTHER TERESA
SYMBOL OF PEACE AND HUMANITY
‘’The poor give us much more than we give them. They’re such strong people day –to-day with no food. And they never curse never complain. We don’t have to give them pity or sympathy. We have so much to learn from them.’’ By Mother Teresa
Childhood and early life of Mother Teresa -
Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu ‘widely known as ‘Mother Teresa’ was born in a middle class Albanian family in skopje then Yugoslavia on 26th August 1910. As a child she was called Gonxha. Her Father a businessman and a member of the community council died when she was only nine year old. Her Mother Drana raised Gonxha and her siblings Aga and Lazar alone Drana Bojaxhiu earned a living by sewing and was very conscientious about the religious education of her children. she belonged to devoted Roman catholic family.
Agnes attended a convent-run primary school and primary school and then a state-run secondary school. At the age of 12 she first felt a calling to a religious life. On holidays the family made pilgrimages to letnice where the Holy Virgin was venerated. Gonxha attended the lyceum where she sang in the choir and played the mandolin.
Coming to india and working for the poor and helpless -
After completion of school education Agnes became a nun at the age of 18. Then she gave up all and followed Christ into the slums to serve him among the poor yet the kindest people. She was taught to treat the poor and needy who came to knock at their door with respect and to practice charitable ways. Her name was changed to Teresa. She joined the community of Irish nuns the sisters of Loretto Who were active in India. This community had a centre in Calcutta (Kolkata) Teresa received training in Dublin Ireland. There she learned to speak English and began her formal religious training. Later she came to Darjeeling. she took first religious vows in 1928 and finally in 1937. Mother Teresa came to India as a teacher at St Mary’s High school at Entally Calcutta. She spent the next 17 years teaching at St Mary’s High School in Kolkata. She realized that her fight would have to be against poverty disease and ignorance. She herself began to work for the poor and helpless.
Founded the missionaries of charity in Kolkata -
Teresa went to the slums regularly with food and medicine and started to teach the slum children. In 1948 she acquired India citizenship. The very same year she founded the order of the missionaries of Charity in Calcutta and established the mother House on Acharya Jagdish Bose Road Calcutta. It is the headquarters of the Missionaries of Charity now also. In 1950 the missionaries of Charity got official status as a religious community in 1950.
Founder Nirmal Hriday, Leprosy ashram, Shishubhavan -
Mother founded the kalighat Home for the Dying (Nirmal Hriday) ‘’They lived like animals’’ she said “At least they can die like human beings.’’ Mothers Teresa soon extended her work to helping India’s lepers. In 1957 the Missionaries started to work for lepers. She opened a Leprosy Ashram at Titagarh. They opened a home for the orphan and abandoned children. She founded ‘Shishu Bhavan’for the helpless children.
In the ensuing decades wherever people needed comfort she was there whether it was the serving the hungry in Ethiopia radiation victims of Chernobyl or the poor in the squalid townships of South Africa. In 1982 During the siege of Beirut she persuaded the Israeli army and Palestinian Guerrillas to stop shooting long enough for her to rescue 37 children trapped in a front –line hospital.
Expansion of her work all over the world -
She created a global network of homes for the poor from Kolkata to New York including one of the first homes that helps and shelters the AIDS victims. She expanded her work by establishing 750 centers in 250 countries. In 1970 she opened branches in Jordan (Amman) England London and the United states (Harlem, New York city). In 1971 she opened a home for Rape victims in Bangladesh. In 1988 she sent her Missionaries of charity to Russia. The Missionaries of Charity opened home for AIDS patients in san Francisco and other places.
Won Many National and International Awards Including Nobel peace prize -
Mother Teresa used her powerful voices to champion conservatives values arguing passionately against abortion contraception and divorce. Her fame gave her plateform and she preached values of life. She won many national and International awards for her humanly works. In 1962 Indian Government awarded her the Padmashree award. The some year she got the Ramon Magasaysay Award instituted by the Malaysian Government. In 1971 she was awarded the pope john XXIII peace prize and the Bharat Ratna the highest civilian award in India 1980.
Worldwide recognition for her work came in 1979 when she was honored with the Nobel peace prize. Accepting the noble prize in 1979 in the name of unwanted unloved and uncared or she wore the white Sari with a blue border that she had adopted to identify the poor when she founded her order.
Died in 1997 due to prolonged illness -
Mother Teresa suffered her first heart attack while meeting pope John paul II in Rome in 1983 and a second nearly fatal in 1983 her health took a marked turn for the worse in the beginning of September 1996. On 5th September 1997 at the age of 87 Mother Teresa left for her heavers abode having lived a life that inspired people the word over believers and non believers rich and poor.
Declared a saint by pope Francis on 4th September 2016
On 9th October 2003 Mother Teresa the humble nun known as the Saint o the Gutters was declared beatified by Pope John Paul II and there by bestowing on her the title Blessed the Vatican scheduled 4th September 2016 as the canonization date for Mother Teresa as a saint. Mother Teresa was canonized into saint Teresa at the Vatican City by Pope Francis on 4th September 2016.