Have you heard of The Mother of Love? Her name was Mother Teresa and she cared, nurtured, and supported people all over this world. She lead a simple life, but she did so much within it. Mother Teresa truly earned the title of Mother by dedicating her life to helping people in any way she could and staying true to her faith while doing it.
Her story begins in the year 1910 on August 26th, the day she was born. Mother Teresa’s real name was Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, she was born to her parents Nikola and Dranafile. Agnes had two siblings of which she was the youngest and they all lived a peaceful life in Skopje, Macedonia (Horner,). Sadly, her father died when she was eight from unknown causes and left her mother to raise a family of three children all by herself. Dranafile started a sewing business and raised her children to go to church, help the poor whenever they could, and to be the best person they could be. When Agnes was 12 years old, she joined a youth group called the Sodality Of The Blessed Virgin Mary and became obsessed with researching preachers, saints, and nuns. Here is where she started to hear her call from God (Horner,)
At just the age of 18, Agnes set off for Ireland and joined The Sisters of Loretto, a nun convent. While there she changed her name to honor a fallen French nun named Theresa, St. Theresa Of Lisieux, (Stevenson,). Then after six weeks of studying at the convent, she departed for India to teach at one of the Sisters schools in Calcutta. When she arrived, Teresa saw the mass amount of poverty that people experienced here and she immediately wanted to help the children even more. Teresa then traveled to the poorest section of Calcutta and established a small school where she taught 30 students. Tuition was 10 cents a month and it was completely doable by their wages. While teaching, Agnes had to learn the language and because of that she began to fluently speak both Bengali and Hindi (¨Mother Teresa Biography¨).
While teaching, Teresa contracted tuberculosis and had to leave the school to heal. She headed to the city of Darjeeling that laid high in the mountains. There she said that she experienced a second calling to go and help all of the citizens of Calcutta that were hurting. When she got back, Teresa petitioned the government so they would give her a building so she could set up a hostel to take care of the sick and dying.The government agreed and in 1948 Teresa established an order of nuns under the permission of the Pope to help her run the hostel. The order became known as the Missionaries of Charity and they quickly had a reputation from helping the people of Calcutta. Donations from all across the world poured in to help and with this money the Missionaries established leper colonies, orphanages, nursing homes, family clinics, and even mobile health clinics (¨Mother Teresa Biography¨).
The Missionaries has done tons of charities for multiple different reasons and they have all helped in someway. The charity work for the poor started with Teresa in 1948 when she entered the slums of Motijhil and gathered some of the children to begin teaching them. With her first step of educating kids done, Teresa moved on to helping abandoned children and she founded a orphanage that was big enough for her order and the kids they would take in (Horner,). She also did charity work for people infected with Leprosy and established leper colonies where people could go to die or just live their lives without being judged.
Mother Teresa also cleared all of the lies that people had made up about leprosy and made people feel more comfortable around it since it wasn’t extremely deadly. The Missionaries and her also established orphanages in Europe and went on to help people infected by aids. In 1963, Mother Teresa was awarded the Padma Shri by the Indian government for her work in helping citizens. Later on, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. From the prize money of the Nobel Peace Prize, Mother Teresa used it to help her charities even more.
In the years leading up to her death Mother Teresa still active and travelling all over the world to try and help people. The 1980ś had been the huge health decline of Mother Teresa. She had already had multiple heart attacks in different cities and wasn’t stopping. In 1997 her health had reached an extremely bad place, so the Missionaries had to choose a new leader. In a couple months, the Missionaries had a new leader named Mother Nirmala. At the time of this takeover there was over a hundred medical centers in over 90 different countries (¨Mother Teresa¨). Mother Teresaś last public speech on September 5th, 1997, was about the death of Princess Diana and her funeral. Some hours later, after the speech, she died of a heart attack.
When her death became known around the world, many people became saddened and heartbroken. The Indian government then offered to host a state funeral for her. A state funeral was a very big honor and was never given to a citizen, but Mother Teresa had changed India in such a way that it was all they could do to honor her. The funeral was held in a football stadium and thousands of people attended. Important people and leaders of countries came and showed their support. It was a televised event that millions of more people watched. Today, many people still honor her by continuing to work hard for the charities she started.
Letters emerged after her death in 2003 showing that for the last 50 years of her life that she struggled to find God. She pushed through though and this fact makes her a more relatable person to people with faith in God( ¨Mother Teresa Biography.¨) Mother Teresa was canonized as a saint in 2016 for her work in the field of charity. Her life was a memorable one matching Princess Dianaś and people will never forget Mother Teresaś name. She was a wonderful woman who did so much for this world and all in the name of God.