Mother Teresa was a wonderful woman and a great influence on the world today. She was born in 1910 in Macedonia with the name Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu. She was born into a family of deeply religious Catholics. Agnes felt she got the calli-kg to work for God at the young age of fourteen. She joined. the Loreto order and went to Bengal, India, to start her studies.
In 1937, Agnes took her final vows to become a nun and has done much great work in the world since. Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu was born on August 27, 1910 to Nikola and Drana Bojaxhiu in Skopje, Macedonia. Drama and Nikola were Albanian and both were very deeply religious Roman Catholics.
Nikola was a popular merchant and a partner to an Italian merchant. He owned several houses and was a member of the Skopje town council. Whenever Agnes’ father would return from a trip, he would always bring his children presents. Also, he promoted his daughters’ education, which was uncommon in that time period. Nikola also was involved in an underground organization, that worked to gain independence for the Albanians from the Ottoman Turks, who ruled Macedonia around the time Agnes was born. Agnes grew up around much fighting.
When she was born, there were Albanian protests against the Turkish government. When she was two, she witnessed the First Balkan War. In that war, the Ottomans were defeated, but Macedonia was divided among the conquerors: Bulgaria, Greece, Mon reneger°, and Serbia.
At age eighteen, Agnes joined the Loreto order of nuns. In September of 1928, she left her family and everything she knew to serve God at the Loreto Abbey in Dublin Ireland. There, she learned how to speak English. In November, she went to India to teach English in an Indian school.
In 1929, Agnes starred her novitiate in an Abbey in Darjeeling and an abbey in the foothills of the Himalayas. A novitiate is the time a nun spends studying, praying, and contemplating before she takes her vows. On May 24, 1931, Agnes took her first vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. She took her name after St. Therese, the patron saint of missionaries.
On May 14, 1937, Teresa- took her final vows, promising to serve God for the rest of her life. Teresa eventually became the principal of Loreto Entally, a school in Entally (a district of Calcutta) where she taught history and geography. Every day, Teresa would look out of the convent to the streets of Calcutta. She longed to help the starving and dying people on the streets. She wasn’t allowed to because the Loreto order of nuns had a rule that the nuns couldn’t leave the convent unless they were seriously ill. In August 1946, Sister Teresa could stand it no longer. A four-day riot broke out in Calcutta between the Muslims and the Hindus. Because of this, food delivery was stopped. Sister Teresa went out to find food for her hundreds of students.
In the riot, 5000 Calcuttans were killed and an additional 15000 were injured. She met some soldiers who gave her some bags of food. They warned her to stay off the streets, but she would soon experience another call from God.
On September 10, 1946, Sister Teresa experienced a call within a call on an annual retreat. She was convinced that God wanted her to reach out to the poor. She said I was to leave the convent and help the poor while living among them. It was an order. To fail it would have been to break the faith.
In 1947, Sister Teresa was granted permission to leave the Loreto order of nuns. On August 16, 1948, Sister Teresa set out on the dirty streets of Calcutta wearing a simple cotton sari decorated with a blue border. Eventually, her organization would adopt this outfit as their habit.
Leaving the Loreto Abbey was very hard for Sister Teresa. She says that that was one of the greatest sacrifices she had ever made. The sisters at the Abbey were her only friends and companions and she was leaving them all behind. Before she went out to the slums of Calcutta, she went to Patna, a city 250 miles from Calcutta, to learn medical skills from Mother Anna Dengel. In Patna, the Medical Missionary Sisters took Sister Teresa in immediately and took her with them when they went to the houses of sick and dying people and local hospitals.
Sister Teresa learned to care for people by practicing with the sisters. In Patna, Sister Teresa learned how to deliver babies, fix broken bones, and she became aware of many common diseases and illnesses. The sisters found that she was a natural at caring for people, and within three months, Sister Teresa set out to help the poor of Calcutta.
In Calcutta, she got in touch will Father Van Exem, who would help her find a place to stay. Father arranged for Sister Teresa to stay at St. Joseph’s Home, where a group of nuns called the Little Sisters of the Poor welcomed her gladly. It was hard for Sister Teresa to know where to start helping in such a large city as Calcutta. She began by helping the Little Sisters of the Poor work with elderly people.
On December 21, 1948, Sister Teresa finally set out on the streets of Calcutta to start her mission from God. She walked out into the city with a packed lunch, but nothing else. She had no money, materials, or companions. The first place Sister Teresa decided to go was the slum that she could see from outside her window while teaching in the Loreto convent called Motijhil. She decided to start a school there.
On the first day, five children showed up for class. There were no desks, books, or chalkboards, but Sister Teresa still managed to teach. She started by teaching the alphabet. Soon, the number of students was almost forty. With Sister Teresa’s help, the students learned not only about language and numbers, but also they learned about personal hygiene and cleanliness.
Through her students, Sister Teresa met many families of Calcutta and also learned about the poor amount of medical care. Many of these families had no income because the man of the house had been stricken with the disease. In Calcutta, thousands of people died each year because they weren’t able to get medical care.
Mother Teresa encouraged all of the nuns to treat all of the poor like a gift from God. She made sure that they always treated the patients with respect, warmth, and kindness. By the middle of 1953, the Missionaries of Charities moved to a new residence that was big enough to house the growing number of nuns joining. Mother Teresa refused to have the name Reverend Mother Teresa because she would never set herself above anyone else.
In the 1960s and 1970s, over ten new houses were opened for the Missionaries of Charity in South America. In 1968, Mother Teresa was given a special request from the Pope. Pope Paul VI requested that Mother Teresa open a house in Rome. With virtually no hesitation, Mother Teresa brought the sisters to the poor outskirts of Rome.
The people there had no electricity, heat, or running water. Mother Teresa was willing to establish a home in Rome for these poor people. She also received an invitation to go to Tanzania in September of 1968. The buildings there were renovated for our people, the term Mother Teresa used instead of calling the people poor. Old people’s homes were established there, as well as nurseries and medical supply rooms.
On December 9, 1979, Mother Teresa was presented with the Nobel Peace Prize in a glorious atmosphere of beautiful flowers and cheering people. Along with the award, she was presented with $190,000. She received the prize for her outstanding work with the poor and her overall love for people.
In 1985, President Ronald Reagan awarded Mother Teresa with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In the following years, Mother Teresa worked as hard as she ever had, despite her age. She gave talks about pro-life and worked with AIDS victims of the world. Mother Teresa would give of her whole self all the way up until 1997.
Mother Teresa died of cardiac arrest on the morning of September 5, 1997, at the age of 87. She was buried on Saturday the 13th of September, 1997. Many people attended her funeral to bid her farewell and to pray for her. Mother Teresa was a wonderful woman. She gave everything she had to. serve God and the people of the world. She will be remembered forever for her contributions to the poor and the homeless.