Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, better known as Mother Teresa, was born on August 27, 1910 to Nikola and Dronda Bojaxhiu in Skopje, Yugoslavia. Growing up she had a comfortable life and in 1928 decided to become a nun and join the Sisters of Loreto in Dublin, Ireland. Less then a year after becoming a nun, she moved to Darjeeling in northeast India and joined the Loreto convent there. Upon taking her oath, she chose the name of Teresa on May 24, 1931 in honer of Saint Teresa, a sixteenth century nun.
Mother Teresa's first assignment was at Saint Mary 's High School for Girls where she taught geography. After a short stay there, she left to care for the needy in Calcutta, with the consent of her archbishop. In taking this new post she talked of receiving a mesage from Jesus " to serve him among the poorest of the poor."
This was the beginning of a long career of service to the poor people of the world. During 1997, Mother Teresa died, but left the world a shining memory of service to mankind.
In 1948 Mother Teresa became an Indian citizen and studied nursing with the American Medical Missionaries in the Indian city of Patna. After returning to Calcutta, she founded the Missionaries of Charity. In 1949 a young girl from the city of Bengal joined her and they focused their efforts on teaching poor children on the streets to read and care for themselves. Over the next few years students from Saint Mary 's joined her in Calcutta, and devoted their lives to serving the poor.
In 1952 she was granted premision to use the abandoned temple to the Hindu goddess Kali. Here the Kalighat Home for the Dying was founded. Dying citizens from Calcutta were brought here for care before they died.
With Mother Teresa's help a leper colony was built near the city of Asansol, on a 34- acre plot given to the Missionaries of Charity by the Indian goverment. It was named Shanti Nagar, which means "Town of Peace".
In 1965 Pope Paul VI authorized Mother Teresa to expand her order world-wide, including the male companian to the Sisters of Charity, the Brothers of Charity , who ran homes for the dying.
All over the world, she opened centers for the downtrodden. Not only lepers, but the blind, disabled, aged and dying. She was also responsible for opening the first home for people with Aids. She established schools and orphanages for the poor, and in 1982, rescued 37 retarded childeren from a hospital in Beirut. She helped earthquake victims of Armenia and the Chernobyl radiation victims. The depth of her care and humanity was far reaching.
Despite her own health problems such as two heart attacks (leaving her with a pacemaker), pneumonias, and malaria, she continued to serve God until her recent death.
Mother Teresa's work was recognised by the world. Some of her awards were the Padmashree (Magnificent Lotus) Award, presented by the Indian government in 1962. In 1971, Pope Paul VI awarded her with the first Pope John XXIII Peace Prize. Her greatest award was received in 1979. The Nobel Peace Prize.
Accepting awards on behalf of the poor, all money was used to fund her centers. Mother Teresa accumulated centers in 25 countries, run by over 3,000 nuns belonging to the Missionaries of Charity.
On September 5th, at 9:30 P.M. the world was blown away with the loss of the world's greatest humanitarian, caused by a heart attack at age 87. We will all miss Mother Teresa for the selfless charity she gave the world. We are happy that her work will be continued through the Missionaries of Charity, and her place in Heaven is assured.
Business Internet & Task Services. "Mother Teresa Remembered" 1997.
(6 Jan. 1998)
David Sheblin. "Mother Teresa of Calcutta" 1995.
COPYRIGHT: 1998 BY: RITA &ZACH
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