Mother Teresa to be the founder that the order of the Missionaries of Charity, a roman inn Catholic congregation that women specialized to help the poor. Considered one the the 20th Century"s greatest humanitarians, she to be canonized together Saint Teresa of Calcutta in 2016.

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Who Was mother Teresa?

Nun and also missionary mom Teresa, recognized in the Catholic church as Saint Teresa of Calcutta, dedicated her life to caring for the sick and poor. Born in Macedonia to parents of Albanian-descent and having taught in India because that 17 years, mommy Teresa skilled her "call within a call" in 1946. Her order developed a hospice; centers for the blind, aged and also disabled; and also a leper colony. 

In 1979, mommy Teresa received the Nobel tranquility Prize for her humanitarian work. She passed away in September 1997 and was beatified in October 2003. In December 2015, Pope Francis well-known a 2nd miracle meeting to mommy Teresa, clearing the way for her to it is in canonized top top September 4, 2016.


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Mother Teresa at a hospice for the destitute and also dying in Kolkata (Calcutta), India, 1969.

Photo: terry Fincher/Hulton Archive/Getty Images


Mother Teresa’s Family and Young Life

Mother Teresa was born on respectable 26, 1910, in Skopje, the current resources of the Republic the Macedonia. The adhering to day, she was i was baptized as Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu.


Mother Teresa’s parents, Nikola and also Dranafile Bojaxhiu, to be of Albanian descent; she father to be an business man who worked as a construction contractor and also a trader of medicines and other goods. The Bojaxhius were a devoutly Catholic family, and also Nikola was deeply affiliated in the regional church and also in city national politics as a vocal proponent the Albanian independence.


In 1919, when mommy Teresa — climate Agnes — was only eight years old, her father suddenly fell ill and also died. When the cause of his fatality remains unknown, many have speculated the political enemies poisoned him.

In the aftermath of she father's death, Agnes came to be extraordinarily near to she mother, a pious and also compassionate woman who instilled in she daughter a deep commitment to charity. Back by no means wealthy, Drana Bojaxhiu extended an open invitation come the city's destitute come dine with her family. "My child, never eat a single mouthful unless you room sharing it through others," she counseled her daughter. Once Agnes asked who the human being eating with them were, her mother uniformly responded, "Some the them are our relations, but every one of them are our people."


Education and Nunhood

Agnes attended a convent-run primary school and then a state-run second school. Together a girl, she sang in the local Sacred heart choir and was regularly asked to sing solos. The congregation make an annual pilgrimage to the Church of the black Madonna in Letnice, and also it to be on one such pilgrimage at the period of 12 that she an initial felt a call to religious life. 6 years later, in 1928, an 18-year-old Agnes Bojaxhiu determined to end up being a nun and set off because that Ireland to join the sister of Loreto in Dublin. It to be there the she took the name Sister mary Teresa after Saint Thérèse the Lisieux.


A year later, Sister mary Teresa travel on to Darjeeling, India, because that the novitiate period; in may 1931, she make her first Profession the Vows. Afterward, she was sent to Calcutta, whereby she was assigned come teach at Saint Mary's High institution for Girls, a college run through the Loreto sisters and specialized to teaching girls indigenous the city's poorest Bengali families. Sister Teresa learned come speak both Bengali and Hindi fluently together she taught geography and background and specialized herself to alleviating the girls' poverty v education.

On might 24, 1937, she took her final Profession of vows to a life of poverty, chastity and obedience. As was the custom for Loreto nuns, she took on the location of "Mother" ~ above making her last vows and thus ended up being known as mommy Teresa. Mommy Teresa continued to teach in ~ Saint Mary's, and also in 1944 she ended up being the school's principal. V her kindness, generosity and also unfailing commitment to she students' education, she search to lead them to a life of devotion come Christ. "Give me the stamin to be ever before the light of their lives, so that I may lead lock at last to you," she composed in prayer.


'Call within a Call'

On September 10, 1946, mother Teresa knowledgeable a second calling, the "call within a call" that would certainly forever transform she life. She to be riding in a train native Calcutta to the Himalayan foothills because that a retreat once she stated Christ speak to her and told her to abandon teaching to work in the slums the Calcutta aiding the city's poorest and also sickest people.


Since mommy Teresa had actually taken a vow of obedience, she can not leaving her convent without official permission. After virtually a year and a half of lobbying, in January 1948 she ultimately received approval to go after this brand-new calling. The August, donning the blue-and-white sari the she would wear in public because that the rest of her life, she left the Loreto convent and also wandered out right into the city. After 6 months of basic medical training, she voyaged because that the an initial time right into Calcutta's slums through no much more specific a goal 보다 to help "the unwanted, the unloved, the uncared for."


Missionaries the Charity

Mother Teresa quickly translated her calling right into concrete actions to help the city's poor. She started an open-air school and established a home for the dying destitute in a dilapidated structure she encouraged the city federal government to donate to she cause. In October 1950, she winner canonical acknowledgment for a brand-new congregation, the Missionaries that Charity, i beg your pardon she started with just a grasp of members—most the them previous teachers or pupils native St. Mary's School.

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As the ranking of she congregation swelled and donations poured in from about India and throughout the globe, the border of mother Teresa's charitable activities expanded exponentially. Over the food of the 1950s and also 1960s, she established a leper colony, an orphanage, a education home, a family members clinic and also a cable of mobile health and wellness clinics.


In 1971, mother Teresa travel to new York City to open her very first American-based home of charity, and in the summer the 1982, she covertly went to Beirut, Lebanon, where she crossed in between Christian east Beirut and Muslim West Beirut to assist children the both faiths. In 1985, mommy Teresa reverted to brand-new York and also spoke at the 40th anniversary that the united Nations basic Assembly. When there, she likewise opened Gift the Love, a residence to care for those infected v HIV/AIDS.