Mother Teresa was born on August 26, 1910 in Skopje but she considers 27th her true Birthday because she believes that she was baptized on that day, she was a Roman Catholic Religious Sister of the Albanian origin, and she lived most of her life in India. Mother Teresa’s real name was Agnes. Mother Teresa at the age of 12, decided that she has to go in the path of god, and her final resolution was taken in the year 1928, while she was praying at the shrine of Black Madonna, her most visited pilgrimage places. She left her house by the age of 18 to join the Sisters of Loreto. She has not seen her mother or sister since then. Agnes went to Loreto Abbey to learn English, the language they used to teach children in India. India welcomed her in 1929, and she began her novitiate in Darjeeling. She was teaching in the St. Teresa’s School, where she learnt Bengali. Her first religious vows was taken in 1931, at that time she wish to be named after Therese de Lisieux, but as another nun in the convent had taken that name, she took the Spanish spelling ‘Teresa’. Mother Teresa took her solemn vows on 1937, in Calcutta. She was the teacher of Loreto Convent School in Entally at that time, she served there for 20 long years and was appointed as the headmistress in the year 1944. She enjoyed teaching so much, but the poverty around Calcutta was disturbing her a lot.
On the 10th of September 1946, Teresa experienced something in her and later she described it as the ‘call within the call’. She also said that the call meant that she has to leave the convent and live with the poor and help them. She started her missionary work for the poor in the year 1948, to show the sign; she wore a white sari with a blue border. Mother adopted the Indian citizenship, and she spent some time in Patna and received basic medical training and then she left out into the poorest of poor. Her efforts caught the attention of India and the Prime Minister appreciated her for her kind works. Teresa received the Vatican Permission on the 7th of October, in 1950 to start the diocesan congregation and that would become the part of Missionaries of Charity. The mission was to take care of all the poor people in every means. It began as a small group of 13 members in Calcutta, by 1997; this group has grown a long way with 4000 sisters and many even wanting to work for the missionary.
In 1952 Mother Teresa converted an abandoned Hindu Temple into a Home for Dying with the help of the Indian government, which was a free hospice for the poor people. She named it as Kalighat. The people who are in need of medical attention, were brought to the home and were given special medical care, she said that people who lived like animals roaming around for food will have a peaceful and calm death in the end. Mother Teresa soon opened a house for people suffering from leprosy and she called it Hospice Santhi Nagar. The missionaries opened a lot of home around Calcutta for the people suffering from leprosy. In 1955 she opened the Nirmala Shishu Bhavan for the children who are found in the streets and the children who have lost their home.
Mother’s work caught the attention of many charitable donators, who helped her spread the houses for the poor people all over India. Mother Teresa opened the first house outside India in Venezuela in 1965, with five sisters working in the house. While many other houses were built in Rome, Austria and Tanzania in 1968, while in the 1970’s she spread the houses all around the globe, which had Asia, Europe, Africa and the USA. The houses were built as the number of poor people increasing day by day, and in the year 2007, the missionaries proudly announced that, they had about 450 brothers and 5000 sisters working actively in 600 schools and shelters in 120 countries.
Mother Teresa loved the people so much; her love was more towards the people who were hated and kept away by normal people. She one said, “by birth, I am Albanian, as on citizenship, I am an Indian, by faith, a Catholic, and as to calling, I am to the people, and by heart, I belong to Lord Jesus”. This shows how much she sacrificed her life for the common people, to help them and to cure their diseases. In 1982, Mother Teresa saved 37 children who were trapped in a Front line hospital by a temporary cease-fire caused by the Palestinian guerrillas and the Israeli army. By 1996, Mother Teresa was operating about 517 missions in about 100 countries. The first missionary in USA was setup in 1984 in New York, and the order was given by mother to open the missionary all over the country. Mother was fluent in Hindi, Bengali, Albanian, English and Serbo-Croatian.
Mother Teresa was affected by a lot of health problems; she suffered a heart attack in 1983, when she was in Rome. She had a second attack in 1989, in 1991 she suffered with pneumonia in Mexico, she had further heart problems too, which made her decide against her post of being the Head of the Missionaries, but the sisters and the brothers decided against that and requested her to be the Head of the Missionaries. In 1996 April, she fell down and broke her Collar bone, in August she suffered from malaria and a failure in the left ventricle. The Archbishop ordered a priest to perform an exorcism on Mother Teresa thinking that she has a Devil in her. It was very clear the Mother’s health was declining. On March 1997, she stepped down from the Head of Missionaries, she died in 1997, September 5th.
Mother Teresa was recognized by the Indian government and was awarded the Padma Shri in 1962 and the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for the International Understanding in the year 1969. In 1980, she received the Bharat Ratna. Her official biography was written in the year 1992 by Navin Chawla. She received Ramon Magsaysay Award for International understanding from the Philippines. She received awards from United Kingdom for the Order of Merit in 1983 and honorary citizenship in the year 1994 from the USA. She received the Golden Honour of the Nation in 1994 from her birth place, Albania. Mother Teresa was awarded Nobel Peace Prize in the year 1979.
Mother Teresa was attracted towards critics, but all those did not affect her. She wanted to help the poor and remove the hunger which was prevailing in India the most at the time she came to India. Mother Teresa is a special Human Being; she only worked for the poor and raised houses and many missions for the poor and affected people.
We need not become another become another Mother Teresa, can we become a human being and help out the people who are suffering from hunger and curable diseases.