Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa was an Albanian-Indian Roman Catholic nun and missionary.

Updated: June 16, 2022

Mother Teresa was an Albanian-Indian Roman Catholic nun and missionary. Her original name is Mary Teresa Bojaxhiu and and honoured in the Roman Catholic Church as Saint Teresa of Calcutta. Dressed in a white, blue-bordered sari, she along with her sisters of the Missionaries of Charity became a symbol of love, care and compassion for the world. 


She was one of the greatest humanitarians of the 20th century who focused on serving the mankind ever since she was 18. She led all her life serving the poorest of the poor. She was a ray of hope for many, including the aged, the destitute, the unemployed, the diseased, the terminally ill, and those abandoned by their families.


She was the founder of the Missionaries of Charity. With her passionate commitment and incredible organizational and managerial skills, she developed an international organization that aimed towards helping the poor and needy. 


She was born on August 26th, 1910 and died on September 5th, 1997.


Childhood of Mother Teresa:

Mother Teresa was born to Nikolle and Dranafile Bojaxhiu in Skopje. Mother Teresa was the youngest child of the Albanian couple. She was born on August 26, 1910 and was baptized the following day as Agnes Gonxhe Bojaxhiu, a date she considered her 'true birthday'. She received her First Communion when she was five and a half.


Her father was an entrepreneur by profession. Her mother had a spiritual and religious bent of mind and was active participant in the local church activities.
When she was just eight years old, sudden and tragic death of her father left her disheartened. Despite facing financial crisis, Dranafile did not compromise on the upbringing of her children and raised them with utmost love, care and affection. Over the years, young Agnes grew extremely close to her mother.


Some facts about Mother Teresa:

  • At the age of 18, she found her true calling as a nun and left home for good to enrol herself at the Institute of the Blessed Mary Virgin, also called Sisters of Loreto, in Ireland. It was there that she first received the name Sister Mary Teresa after St Therese of Lisieux.
  • After a year of training, Sister Mary Teresa came to India in 1929 and initiated her novitiate in Darjeeling, West Bengal, as a teacher at St Teresa’s School. She learned the local language of the state, Bengali.
  • Sister Teresa took her first religious vows in May 1931. Thereafter, she was assigned duty at the Loreto Entally community of Calcutta and taught at St Mary's School.
  • Six years later, on May 24, 1937, she took her Final Profession of Vows and with that acquired the name, Mother Teresa, which the world recognizes her with today.
  • Mother Teresa dedicated to serving as a teacher at the St Mary's School the next twenty years of her life, graduating to the post of the principal in 1944.
  • She experienced a call within a call, which is a call from the Almighty to fulfil His heartfelt desire of serving the 'poorest of the poor'. Thus, help the poorest and sick people.
  • The congregation, opened its first house outside India in Venezuela in 1965 with five sisters. Later many more houses came up in Rome, Tanzania and Austria. By 1970s, the order had reached several countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and United States.
  • The Government of India honoured her with Padma Shri, Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding and Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award.
  • In 1962, she was honoured with Ramon Magsaysay Award for International Understanding, for her merciful cognizance of the abject poor of a foreign land, in whose service she led a new congregation.
  • In 1971, she was awarded the first Pope John XXIII Peace Prize for her work with the poor, display of Christian charity and efforts for peace.
  • In 1979, Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, "for work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which also constitutes a threat to peace."
  • The health of Mother Teresa started declining in the 1980s. The first instance of the same was seen when she suffered a heart attack while visiting Pope John Paul II in Rome in 1983. She left for the heavenly abode on September 5th, 1997.



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