Today, 26 August 2020, we are celebrating the 110th anniversary of the most compassionate lady, an inspiration to every individual on this planet. The lady with the ‘Golden Heart’ had dedicated her entire life to ‘God’s Work’. With a mission to serve humanity, she sacrificed everything materialistic and lived a very simple life becoming synonymous with the word ‘Humanity’ itself. She is well remembered as a religious figure among people irrespective of age, caste, nation and generation. She has created a space in our hearts and minds, let us refresh the legacy she has created, through this article.
Points covered in the article:
- Some Facts About ‘The Mother’
- Life of Mother Teresa
- Journey to the title ‘Mother’
- Mother Teresa’s own Mission
- Selfless Services of Mother Teresa
- Honours to HER Name
Some Facts About ‘The Mother’
- Birth Name: Anjeze Gonxhe Bojaxhiu
- Place of Birth: Skopje, Macedonia, 1910
- Place of Death: Calcutta, India on 5th September 1997
- Education: Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Life of Mother Teresa
- Born to an Albanian Family in Skopje where she lived for eighteen years. Before coming to India she moved to Ireland.
- Mother Teresa had an early awakening, ‘Call from God’ at the age of twelve. It is then when she knew her goal of dedicating her life to spread love and care.
- At the age of 18, she moved to Ireland to become a part of an Irish community of nuns, where she received her training (in Dublin).
- On 24 May 1931, she was sent to Calcutta, India where she took her vows as a Nun.
- Mother Teresa served as a teacher in St. Mary’s High School, Calcutta from 1931 to 1948.
- She knew that her purpose was yet to be achieved. With charity, she wanted to reach out to the sick and the poor. Her motives were so strong that she received official permission from her seniors to leave the convent and give her services in the slums to the poorest of the poor. From this onwards, she served humanity with endless dedication and devotion.
Journey to the title ‘Mother’
- Already devoted to her profession of teaching young poor girls, Sister Teresa wanted to lift them out of poverty via education.
- In 1937, Sister Teresa took her final vows as a nun, and as per the tradition followed by the Loreto nuns took the title of ‘Mother’ and was thereafter known as Mother Teresa.
- Mother Teresa became the principal of St. Mary’s High School, Calcutta after serving as a teacher there since 1931.
- On 10th September 1946, she experienced another awakening and was very determined to abandon her profession of teaching as Christ wanted her to serve the sick and the poor.
- She was able to pursue her dream of serving humanity in 1948 after receiving official permission from the community of nuns. The first thing after leaving Loreto Convent was, she received six months of basic medical service training.
- She set out to look after the “the unwanted, the unloved and the uncared”.
Mother Teresa’s own Mission
- After serving in the slums of Calcutta for two years, Mother Teresa started her own order in 1950, for which she had sought permission from the Holy See. She named it “The Missionaries of Charity”, a Roman Catholic Congregation of women which was supported by a handful of members mostly from the previous school where she had served as a teacher.
- Her services were so profound that it gained national and international attention in the form of donations to her cause. In 1965 “The Missionaries of Charity” became an International Religious Family by a decree of Pope Paul VI.
Selfless Services of Mother Teresa
- The lady with the golden heart was always ready to eliminate the sufferings of the needy. With donations pouring in from across the World, Mother Teresa managed to establish a leper colony, a nursing home, an orphanage, a family clinic and many mobile health clinics.
- Her society had developed in many countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The order was focused on serving the poor and also the victims of natural calamities like floods, droughts and epidemics.
- In 1985, Mother Teresa was invited to the 40th Anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly where she gave a speech on her purpose. She also announced the opening of a home to care for the ones infected with HIV.
Honours to HER Name
The works and selfless service rendered by Mother Teresa cannot be measured by the awards and achievements she was honoured with, but by the seamless respect, she earned for herself.
Her order works efficiently as an International Association with the vows of chastity, poverty, obedience and a fourth vow to render “wholehearted free services to the poorest of the poor”
Some honours to her name are
- She received Padma Shri in 1962 and Bharat Ratna in 1980.
- A five rupee coin was issued to commemorate her 100th birthday by the Indian Government.
- She received the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1962 for peace and international understanding.
- She received The Nobel Peace Prize “for work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which also constitutes a threat to peace”
- She had appeared eighteen times in Gallup’s most admired man and woman poll, winning the poll several times.
- She was honoured by the Governments of many nations and several books and films have been attributed to honouring her.
- Mother Teresa was canonised as a ‘Saint’ on 4th September 2016 by Pope Francis. The canonization was held in St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City.
- A first Roman Cathedral was consecrated in Kosovo to honour Mother Teresa and was named as St. Teresa Cathedral in September 2017.
With selfless love and care for the needy, Mother Teresa stands out as the best humanitarian of the twentieth century. Though being amidst several criticisms her devotion to mankind is an example to the present and the following generations.
“There are no great things, only small things with great love. Happy are those” -Mother Teresa