Mother Teresa Biography, Works, Awards, Missions & Death

Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa, full name Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, was born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in Skopje, Macedonia, on August 27, 1910.

At the time of her birth, Skopje was under the Ottoman Empire, a vast empire controlled by the Turks in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. She was the last of three children born to Nikola and Dranafile Bojaxhiu, Albanian grocers. 

Mother Teresa’s Childhood

She was raised in a devoutly Catholic family. Her father was a businessperson. Her mother had a spiritual and religious propensity of mind and was actively associated with the local church activities.

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Her father’s unexpected, painful death when she was eight greatly discouraged her. Despite the financial crisis, Dranafile did not negotiate the upbringing of her children and grew them with unconditional love, care, and kindness. Over the years, young Agnes became extremely close to her mother.

Dranafile’s unwavering faith and religious attitude influenced Agnes’s character and future vocation. She taught Agnes a deep commitment to charity, further insisted by her involvement in the Jesuit parish of the Sacred Heart.

She joined a public school in Skopje and first showed religious interests as a member of a school society that focused on foreign missions (groups that travel to foreign countries to spread their religious beliefs). At the age of twelve, she felt she had a calling to help the poor.

Mother Teresa’s Career

This calling took sharper focus through her teenage years when she was inspired by reports of work done in India by Yugoslav Jesuit missionaries serving in Bengal, India.

At eighteen, she left her home to join a community of Irish nuns, the Sisters of Loretto, who had a mission in Calcutta, India.

Mother Teresa received training in Dublin, Ireland, and Darjeeling, taking her first religious vows in 1928 and her final religious vows in 1937.

She was appreciated within the retreat walls for her love, kindness, compassion, and generosity. Students and teachers considerably recognized her steadfast commitment to serving society and humankind.

However, she enjoyed educating young girls. She was hugely troubled by the widespread poverty and distress in Calcutta.

One of their first assignments of Mother Teresa’s was to teach and serve as principal in a girls’ high school in Calcutta. Whereas the school was close to the slums (terribly flawed sections), the students were mainly wealthy.

1946, she experienced a second vocation or “call within a call.” She felt an inner urge to leave the convent life (life of a nun) and constantly work with the poor.

In 1948, the Vatican permitted her to go to the Sisters of Loretto and start a new work under the rules of the Archbishop of Calcutta.

The Siege of Beirut was in the summer of 1982, essentially part of the First Lebanon War between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

At the height of the siege, Mother Teresa helped backward and disabled children from a mental hospital in the Sabra refugee camp.

Mother Teresa did so by brokering a temporary cease-fire between the Israeli army and Palestinian independents.

Followed by Red Cross workers, she traveled within the war zone to abandon the young patients. The children were taken to the Spring School in east Beirut, a foundation founded by Mother Teresa two years ago.

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When she prepared to work with the poor, she received intensive medical training with the American Medical Missionary Sisters in Patna, India.

Teresa’s first venture in Calcutta was to gather unschooled children from the watts and teach them. She immediately dragged both financial support and volunteers.

In 1950, her group, now called the Missionaries of Charity, received official status as a spiritual community within the Archdiocese of Calcutta.

Members have taken the traditional vows of poverty, chastity (purity), and obedience, but they have added a fourth vow—to give free service to poor people. The Apostles of Charity received essential publicity, and Mother Teresa used it to profit from her work.

In 1957, they started to work with outcasts (who were suffering from leprosy, a terrible infectious disease). They slowly increased their educational work, once running nine elementary schools in Calcutta. They have also opened a home for orphans and abandoned children.

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Before long, they had a presence in almost twenty-two Indian cities. Mother Teresa also visited countries like Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Australia, Tanzania, Venezuela, and Italy to begin new foundations.

Mother Teresa’s group continued to develop throughout the 1970s, opening new missions in places like Amman, Jordan; London, England; and New York, New York.

Teresa has received recognition and financial support through such awards as the Pope John XXIII Peace Prize and a Joseph Kennedy Jr. Foundation grant.

Awards and Achievements

Protectors, or those who donate money, usually appear to support works in progress or motivate the sisters to open new ventures.

By 1979, Teresa’s groups had more than two hundred different processes in over twenty-five countries worldwide, with dozens more experiences on the boundary. The same year, Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace

In 1962, the Indian government first recognized Mother Teresa by awarding her the Padma Shree, the fourth-highest civilian award in India. The government of India next awarded her the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding in 1969.

She has received various other Indian awards. On January 25, 1980, Mother Teresa was awarded the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian honor in India.

1986, she influenced President Fidel Castro (1926–) to allow a mission in Cuba. The components of Mother Teresa’s works—shelters for the dying, Institutions, and homes for the mentally ill—continued to serve the very poor. 

In 1988, Mother Teresa sent her Ministers of Charity to Russia. She initiated a home for procured immune deficiency symptoms (AIDS, an incurable disease that weakens the immune system) in San Francisco, California patients.

1991, Teresa returned to Albania and opened a home in Tirana, the capital. During this time, 168 homes were in operation in India.

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Notwithstanding the request for this saintly work, all commentators have remarked that Mother Teresa was the most significant reason for the maturity of her order and the fame that came with it.

Unlike many “social critics,” she did not notice it necessary to attack the economic or political compositions of the cultures providing for the poor people she served.

For Mother Teresa, the primary rule was genuine love. When social critics or theological reformers (improvers) preferred to demonstrate anger at the evils of constructions underlying poverty and suffering, that was between them and God.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Mother Teresa’s health problems have become a concern. She grieved a heart attack while visiting Pope John Paul II (1920–) in 1983. 

She had a near-fatal heart attack in 1989 and started using a pacemaker that controls the heartbeat. In March 1997, after an eight-week reservation process, her sixty-three-year-old sister Nirmala (her parents were from Nepal) was declared the new director of the Missionaries of Charity.

Death and legacy

Although Teresa was trying to cut back on her duties for some time because of her health problem, she has sojourned in an instructional role to Sister Nirmala.

She celebrated her eighty-seventh birthday in August and died presently after a heart attack on September 5, 1997.

The world mourned her loss, and one mourner noted, “It was Mother herself who poor people appreciated. We will have missed something they can’t replace when they overcome her.”

The world has remembered this angelic soul in various ways,” She has been made patroness of multiple churches. Some numerous roads and constructions are built named after Mother Teresa. She also has in popular culture.

In 2003, Mother Teresa was recognized by Pope John Paul II at St Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. Since then, she has been remembered as Blessed Mother Teresa.

Onward with Blessed Pope John Paul II, the Church assigned Blessed Teresa of Calcutta as the patron philanthropist of World Youth Day Pope Francis on September 4, 2016, and is now known as Saint Teresa Calcutta.