Mother Teresa was born on August 2, 1910 and died on September 5, 1997. She was born in Albania as Anjeze Gonxhe Bojaxhiu. After her passing, the Church honored her as Saint Teresa of Calcutta.
Mother Teresa Bojaxhiu was a missionary and nun in India. She was born in the capital city of North Macedonia, Skopje. When she turned eighteen, she went to Ireland and then later traveled to India where she spent most of her life.
Details of her early life
Mother Teresa was the last born in her family to parents Nikolle and Dranafile Bojaxhiu. Her father was actively engaged in politics in their community. He died in 1919 when Mother Teresa was eight years old. When she was young, Mother Teresa was mesmerized by the stories of the missionaries’ lives and their work in Bengal. When she was twelve years old, the philanthropist decided that she would also become a nun and dedicate her life to religion.
She became more convinced about her calling in 1928 when she prayed at the Black Madonna shrine, where she used to go regularly for pilgrimages. Mother Teresa left home the same year and went to be a nun at the sisters of Loreto in Rathfarnham, Ireland. It was here that she studied English to become a missionary. She never saw her sister and mother again.
In 1950, she started the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic religious congregation. Active in over 100 countries, this congregation had more than 4,500 nuns in 2012. The Missionaries of Charity provide a place for those dying from tuberculosis, leprosy, and HIV/AIDS. It also operates schools, orphanages, family and children’s counseling programs, mobile clinics, dispensaries and soup kitchens.
Mother Teresa’s congregation helps the poorest of the poor in various countries, including Latin America, Africa and Asia. They offer aid during natural disasters and assist refugees. They also have houses in Australia, Europe and North America where they care for people with AIDS, homeless, alcoholics and shut-ins.
The members of this congregation vow to wholeheartedly offer free services to the destitute, taking vows of obedience, poverty and chastity.
Mother Teresa’s Legacy
Mother Teresa was praised and criticized in equal measure. Her critics vilified her due to her stand on contraception and abortion, as well as the poor state of her homes for the dying. However, despite this criticism, Mother Theresa received several awards during her lifetime, including the Ramon Magsaysay Peace Prize in 1962, Pope John XXII Peace Prize 1971, Nehru Prize 1972 and Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.
On September 4, 2016, Mother Teresa was given a saint status. She is still admired the world over for her charity activities.