Mother Teresa (St. Teresa of Calcutta)

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Mother Teresa (St. Teresa of Calcutta)

1910 – 1997

Mother Teresa was a Roman Catholic nun who devoted her life to serving the poor and destitute around the world.

Some of the many important events in Mother Teresa’s life

1910, 26th AugustShe is born Gonxha Agnes Bojaxhiu (of Albanian ancestry) in Skopje, present-day Macedonia.
1928, 26th SeptemberShe leaves home to enter the Institute of Blessed Virgin Mary (Loreto sisters) in Dublin, Ireland.
1929, 6th JanuaryShe arrives in Calcutta, India and continues her religious formation in Darjeeling.
1931, 24th MayShe takes her first formal religious vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. She chooses to be named Sr Teresa after St. Thérèse of Lisieux (Patron Saint of Missionaries), after which she becomes a teacher at Loretto Entally (Calcutta)and then St Mary’s.
1946, 10th SeptemberInspiration Day On a train journey from Calcutta to Darjeeling, she receives the “call within a call” to quench the infinite thirst of Jesus on the Cross for love and souls by labouring for the salvation and sanctification of the poorest of the poor.
1948, 12th April 1950She is granted permission by Pope Pius XII to leave Loreto to begin her mission among the poorest of the poor in the streets of Calcutta, living the words of Jesus “Whatever you do to the least of my brethren, you do it to me.”
1950 7th OctoberFeast of Our Lady of the Rosary, the establishment of the Missionaries of Charity Sisters.
1952, 22nd AugustMother opens her first home for the sick and dying to look after people nobody else was prepared to look after. The home is called Nirmal Hriday (Pure Heart), where people could die with dignity and love. Mother Teresa spent much of her time with the dying.
1975Silver Jubilee of the Missionaries of Charity (over 1,000 sisters in 85 foundations in 15 countries)
1979, 10th DecemberMother Teresa was awarded the “Nobel Peace Prize” for her work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which also constitutes a threat to peace. She didn’t attend the ceremonial banquet but asked that the $192,000 fund be given to the poor.

In later years, Mother Teresa was very active in Western developed countries. She commented that though the West was materially prosperous, there was often a spiritual poverty. She said, “The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread”. When asked how to promote world peace, she replied, “go home and love your family”.

1997, 5th SeptemberShe dies in the Motherhouse, Calcutta, at age 87.
At her death, 3,842 sisters were serving in 594 houses in 120 countries.
2003, 19th OctoberShe was beatified by Pope John Paul II on Mission Sunday, receiving the title “Blessed”.
2016, 4th SeptemberCanonised by Pope Francis and declared St Teresa of Calcutta.

Her most significant contribution was her simple belief that people should care for each other.

In her own words: “It is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the doing.
It is not how much we give, but how much love we put into the giving.

Mother Teresa continues to be an inspiration to people around the world.
She focused her energies on those discarded by society: the poor, the sick, and the dying.
Her legacy lives on through the five orders of Sisters, Brothers and Fathers she founded.

Feast Day 5th September