Born to Albanian parents in what is now Skopje, Macedonia (then part of the Ottoman Empire), Gonxha (Agnes) Bojaxhiu was the youngest of the three children who survived. For a time, the family lived comfortably, and her father's construction business thrived. But life changed overnight following his unexpected death.
while riding a train to Darjeeling to make a retreat, Sister Teresa heard what she later explained
as “a call within a call. The message was clear. I was to leave the convent and help the poor while
living among them.” She also heard a call to give up her life with the Sisters of Loreto and,
instead, to “follow Christ into the slums to serve him among the poorest of the poor.”
After receiving permission to leave Loreto, establish a new
religious community and undertake her new work, she took a nursing course for several months. She
returned to Calcutta, where she lived in the slums and opened a school for poor children. Dressed in
a white sari and sandals (the ordinary dress of an Indian woman) she soon began getting to know her
neighbors—especially the poor and sick—and getting to know their needs through visits.
The work was exhausting, but she was not alone for long.
Volunteers who came to join her in the work, some of them former students, became the core of the
Missionaries of Charity. Other helped by donating food, clothing, supplies, the use of buildings. In
1952 the city of Calcutta gave Mother Teresa a former hostel, which became a home for the dying and
the destitute. As the Order expanded, services were also offered to orphans, abandoned children,
alcoholics, the aging and street people.
For the next four decades Mother Teresa worked tirelessly on behalf of the poor. Her love knew no bounds. Nor did her energy, as she crisscrossed the globe pleading for support and inviting others to see the face of Jesus in the poorest of the poor. In 1979 she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. On September 5, 1997, God called her home.
Join the new media evangelization. Your tax-deductible gift allows Catholic.net to build a culture of life in our nation and throughout the world. Please help us promote the Church's new evangelization by donating to Catholic.net right now. God bless you for your generosity.
|Print Article||Email Friend||Palm Download||Forums||Questions||More in this Channel||Up|
Write a comment on this article|