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Mother Theresa


Mother Theresa was a religious sister of the Roman Catholic Mission. She was born in Macedonia but her family originated from Albania, Kosovo specifically. Her religious designation is Blessed Theresa of Calcutta because she spent most of her life in Calcutta in India.

The Early Life of Mother Theresa

Mother Theresa was an ethnic Albanian. She was christened Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu which in Albanian means “rosebud” or “little flower.’’ Born in Skopje which is the present capital of Macedonia, her family later relocated to Tirana which is in Albania. Her parents were Nikollië and Dranafille Bojaxhiu. She lost her father, who had been involved in Albanian politics, when she was just eight years old. From her early years, Teresa had been inspired by stories of missionaries and their religious works in Bengal, India.

At the age of 12 she made up her mind to commit her life to religious service. When she became eighteen she left home to join the missionary society, Sisters of Loreto. That was the last time she ever saw her mother and sister. She went to the Loreto Abbey in Ireland to learn English and later went to India. She began her novitiate close to the Himalaya Mountains in 1929 at a place called Darjeeling. There she learnt how to speak Bengali. Her initial religious vows of nunnery were taken in 1931. It was while she was teaching at a convent school run by the Sisters of Loreto that she took her solemn vows. This was in Eastern Calcutta in 1937. She taught for many years in this school and later became the headmistress. It was while teaching in Calcutta that she became disturbed by the poverty and misery that she saw around her. At this time she became moved to initiate the charity works among the poorest of the poor for which she later became a world renowned.

The Charity Works of Mother Theresa

Mother Theresa in her life time was engaged in works of charity to the poor. In 1946, while on the way to the Loreto Convent for her annual retreat, she felt called to live and work among the poor. Her missionary works to the poor began in 1948. She adopted citizenship of India and received basic medical training in Patna. At first she started a school in a place called Motijhil in Calcutta but was later moved to start ministering to the needy and the destitute. Her activities quickly came to the attention of the Indian officials who expressed their appreciation. This first year was very difficult and many times she was tempted to abandon that life and return to the comforts of her convent but she persevered. As at the time of her death in 1997, her Missionaries of Charity had more than 4000 sisters and 300 affiliated brothers. In her life time, she received numerous awards from many nations and organisations for her works of charity.

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