Born: August 26, 1910
Died: September 5, 1997
Achievements: Started Missionaries of Charity in 1950; received Nobel Prize for Peace in 1979; received Bharat Ratna in 1980.
Mother Teresa was one of the great servants of humanity. She was an Albanian Catholic nun who came to India and founded the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata. Later on Mother Teresa attained Indian citizenship. Her selfless work among the poverty-stricken people of Kolkata (Calcutta) is an inspiration for people all over the world and she was honored with Nobel Prize for her work.
Mother Teresa's original name was Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu. She was born on August 27, 1910 in Skopje, Macedonia. Her father was a successful merchant and she was youngest of the three siblings. At the age of 12, she decided that she wanted to be a missionary and spread the love of Christ. At the age of 18 she left her parental home in Skopje and joined the Sisters of Loreto, an Irish community of nuns with missions in India.
After a few months of training at the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Dublin Mother Teresa came to India. On May 24, 1931, she took her initial vows as a nun. From 1931 to 1948, Mother Teresa taught geography and catechism at St. Mary's High School in Calcutta. However, the prevailing poverty in Calcutta had a deep impact on Mother Teresa's mind and in 1948, she received permission from her superiors to leave the convent school and devote herself to working among the poorest of the poor in the slums of Calcutta.
After a short course with the Medical Mission Sisters in Patna, she returned to Calcutta and found temporary lodging with the Little Sisters of the Poor. She started an open-air school for homeless children. Soon she was joined by voluntary helpers, and she received financial support from church organizations and the municipal authorities. On October 7, 1950, Mother Teresa received permission from the Vatican to start her own order. Vatican originally labeled the order as the Diocesan Congregation of the Calcutta Diocese, and it later came to known as the "Missionaries of Charity". The primary task of the Missionaries of Charity was to take care of those persons who nobody was prepared to look after.
The Missionaries of Charity, which began as a small Order with 12 members in Calcutta, today has more than 4,000 nuns running orphanages, AIDS hospices, charity centres worldwide, and caring for refugees, the blind, disabled, aged, alcoholics, the poor and homeless and victims of floods, epidemics and famine in Asia, Africa, Latin America, North America, Poland, and Australia. In 1965, by granting a Decree of Praise, Pope Paul VI granted Mother Teresa permission to expand her order to other countries. The order's first house outside India was in Venezuela. Presently, the "Missionaries of Charity" has presence in more than 100 countries.
Mother Teresa's work has been recognised and acclaimed throughout the world and she has received a number of awards and distinctions. These include the Pope John XXIII Peace Prize (1971), Nehru Prize for Promotion of International Peace & Understanding (1972), Balzan Prize (1978), Nobel Peace Prize (1979) and Bharat Ratna (1980).
On March 13, 1997, Mother Teresa stepped down from the head of Missionaries of Charity and died on September 5, 1997, just 9 days after her 87th birthday. Following Mother Teresa's death, the Holy See began the process of beatification, the second step towards possible canonization, or sainthood. This process requires the documentation of a miracle performed from the intercession of Mother Teresa. In 2002, the Vatican recognized as a miracle the healing of a tumor in the abdomen of an Indian woman, Monica Besra, following the application of a locket containing Teresa's picture. Monica Besra said that a beam of light emanated from the picture, curing the cancerous tumor. Mother Teresa was formally beatified by Pope John Paul II on October 19, 2003 with the title Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. A second miracle is required for her to proceed to canonization.
Mother Teresa Quote:
Here are some famous quotes by Mother Teresa. These quotes reveal her thinking and are a guiding light and source of inspiration to others.
* Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.
* Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired.
* Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.
* Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.
* Each one of them is Jesus in disguise.
* Everybody today seems to be in such a terrible rush, anxious for greater developments and greater riches and so on, so that children have very little time for their parents. Parents have very little time for each other, and in the home begins the disruption of peace of the world.
* Good works are links that form a chain of love.
* Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.
* I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world.
* I do not pray for success, I ask for faithfulness.
* I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much.
* I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.
* I think I'm more difficult than critical.
* I want you to be concerned about your next door neighbor. Do you know your next door neighbor?
* I try to give to the poor people for love what the rich could get for money. No, I wouldn't touch a leper for a thousand pounds; yet I willingly cure him for the love of God. " If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.
* If we want a love message to be heard, it has got to be sent out. To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it.
* If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one.
* If you judge people, you have no time to love them.
* If you want a love message to be heard, it has got to be sent out. To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it.
* In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love.
* Intense love does not measure, it just gives.
* It is a kingly act to assist the fallen.
* It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.
* It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start.
* It is not the magnitude of our actions but the amount of love that is put into them that matters.
* It is impossible to walk rapidly and be unhappy
* Jesus said love one another. He didn't say love the whole world.
* Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.
* Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.
* Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.
* Let us not be satisfied with just giving money. Money is not enough, money can be got, but they need your hearts to love them. So, spread your love everywhere you go.
* Let us more and more insist on raising funds of love, of kindness, of understanding, of peace. Money will come if we seek first the Kingdom of God - the rest will be given.
* Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work.
* Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.
* Loneliness is the most terrible poverty.
* Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do... but how much love we put in that action.
* Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand.
* Love begins by taking care of the closest ones - the ones at home.
* Many people mistake our work for our vocation. Our vocation is the love of Jesus.
* One of the greatest diseases is to be nobody to anybody.
* Our life of poverty is as necessary as the work itself. Only in heaven will we see how much we owe to the poor for helping us to love God better because of them.
* Peace begins with a smile.
* So many signatures for such a small heart.
* Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.
* Sweetest Lord, make me appreciative of the dignity of my high vocation, and its many responsibilities. Never permit me to disgrace it by giving way to coldness, unkindness, or impatience.
* The biggest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis, but rather the feeling of being unwanted.
* The greatest destroyer of peace is abortion because if a mother can kill her own child, what is left for me to kill you and you to kill me? There is nothing between.
* The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.
* The most terrible poverty is loneliness and the feeling of being unloved.
* The miracle is not that we do this work, but that we are happy to do it.
* The success of love is in the loving - it is not in the result of loving. Of course it is natural in love to want the best for the other person, but whether it turns out that way or not does not determine the value of what we have done.
* There are no great things, only small things with great love. Happy are those.
* There is always the danger that we may just do the work for the sake of the work. This is where the respect and the love and the devotion come in - that we do it to God, to Christ, and that's why we try to do it as beautifully as possible.
* There is more hunger in the world for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.
* There must be a reason why some people can afford to live well. They must have worked for it. I only feel angry when I see waste. When I see people throwing away things that we could use.
* There should be less talk; a preaching point is not a meeting point. What do you do then? Take a broom and clean someone's house. That says enough.
* We are all pencils in the hand of God.
* We can do no great things, only small things with great love.
* We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature - trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence... We need silence to be able to touch souls.
* We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.
* We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.
* We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.
* Words which do not give the light of Christ increase the darkness.
* We, the unwilling,led by the unknowing,are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much,for so long,with so little,we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.