Mother Teresa was a world famous social worker. She has taught us that the best way of worshiping God is to serve the sick and the diseased, the old and the poor. The light of service which she lighted forty years ago is still bright with her inspiration and the model work. She has been praised by many individuals , also she faced a diverse range of criticism.
Mother Teresa's early life
Mother Teresa was born on 26th August 1910 in Yugoslavia (it's now Macedonia). She was named Agnes Gonxha Bojoxhiu. Her family was of Albanian descent. At the age of twelve , she felt strongly the call of God. At the age of eighteen she left her parental home in Skopje and joined the sisters of Loretto , an irish community of nuns with missions in India. Thus, she became a nun at the age of eighteen.
After a year's training , she came to Calcutta (now 'kolkata')as a Geography teacher in St.Mary's high school. During her service as a teacher, she was disturbed to see the poverty of people around her. On the 10th of September , 1946 , she felt Jesus Christ calling her to serve the poor in the slums of Calcutta. She left the loretto convent and started serving the poor and needy. A few months later , sister Agnes also joined her. Her association with the American Medical Missionary sisters helped her learn nursing the sick and the diseased.
At first she had no funds to help people. She had to beg and earn money for the food of people under her protection. She depended on Divine Providence and started on Open-air school for slum children. She also started working for the flood victims and gave herself to help men, women and children. Her service in Calcutta has won her great popularity. Her services caught attention of Catholic church and received permission to start a new congregation to serve the poor. Thus she started "Missionaries of Charity" in 1950. From a small group of 13 members, Missionaries of Charity has grown into more than 5000 nuns. The sisters of this congregation works in different countries for the benefit of poor, homeless, aged, alcoholics, children, disabled etc.
She could speak Bengali very well. She had adopted Indian saree and Indian manner of eating. This helped her to achieve a great rapport with the Indian masses.
No one wants the dying, diseased and crippled people. But the homes which she had built , welcome such unwanted people. Mother Teresa's service began when she saw a women lying in front of a hospital half-eaten by rats and worms. She looked after her till the old woman died.
Mother Teresa received many awords and world wide honors. They are listed below,
1.1962 - Padma shri
2.1971 - Pope John XXIII peace prize
3.1971 - Prize for Good Samaritan , Boston
4.1971 - Kennedy prize
5.1972 - Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding.
6.1972 - Koruna Dut, Angel of Charity [India]
7.1973 - Templeton Prize
8.1974 - Mater et Magistra
9.1975 - Albert Schweitzer International prize
10.1977 - Honorary phd in Theology, University of Cambridge
11.1979 - Nobel Peace prize
12.1982 - Honorary phd, Catholic University of Brussels
13.1985 - President Metal of Freedom
14.1986 - Honorary U.S. Citizenship
15.1997 - Congressional Gold Medal
The death of Mother Teresa:
Mother Teresa was considered as a saint when she was alive itself. The precious soul of Mother Teresa left this world on September 5th 1997. Death may have snatched her body from us , but her spirit of service continues. In 2010, on the 100th anniversary of Mother Teresa , she was honored all around the world. The title "Blessed" was added with Mother Teresa's name in 2003. The procedure towards canonization of Mother Teresa is going on.
"Being unwanted , unloved, uncared for , forgotten by everybody , i think that is a much greater hunger , a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat."