Known for serving the poor and needy around the world, Mother Teresa is the founder of Missionary of Charity, a religious group devoted to helping the needy.
Born Agnes Gonxhe on 26th August 1910 in Skopje, Macedonia, Teresa was sure she would spend her adult life serving in a religious setup. Though the youngest in the family, she left home for Ireland at the age of 18 years to learn English at Loreto Abbey with the intention of becoming a missionary. She never returned home to see her family. Teresa died on 5th September 1997 from heart, lung and kidney problems.
To propel her service, Teresa also learnt Hindi and Bengali and was assigned to teach Geography and History in a high school in Calcutta, India. She committed to helping girls rise out of poverty through education. Teresa took formal vows to become a Roman Catholic nun at 21 years of age.
With so many poor people around her, she began taking care of them under ‘Missionary of Charity’, a cause she later referred to as ‘the call within a call’. As she founded schools and continued to care for the poor, the Indian Government took note of her. She was able to expand her focus to people living with disabilities as well as those who were dying.
Besides fellow nuns, Teresa’s work began to attract recruits all over the world helping her open more hospices, orphanages and homes for lepers in India, Venezuela, Italy, Austria and parts of Africa.
Despite helping so many people around the world, Mother Teresa attracted a lot of criticism when she declared abortion as destroyer of peace during her Nobel lecture in 1979. She also found the constitutional ban on divorce and remarriage in the Irish referendum a vice.
Even with all the accolades, Mother Teresa remained humble and lived by the words, “By blood I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the Heart of Jesus.” That held her fame beyond the grave.
Love begins by taking care of the closest ones – the ones at home. Mother Teresa
If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one. Mother Teresa
The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread. Mother Teresa
Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand. Mother Teresa
Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty. Mother Teresa
Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier. Mother Teresa
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. Mother Teresa