Mother Teresa was born, 1910, in Skopje, capital of the Republic of Macedonia. Little is known about her early life, but at a young age she felt a calling to be a nun and serve through helping the poor.
At the age of 18 she was given permission to join a group of nuns in Ireland. After a few months of training, with the Sisters of Loreto, she was then given permission to travel to India. She took her formal religious vows in 1931, and chose to be named after St. Therese of Lisieux – the patron saint of missionaries.
Mother Teresa, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, attained world wide fame for her life dedicated to serving the poor and destitute. In her early years she worked as a teacher in the slums of Calcutta, the widespread poverty made a deep impression on her and this led to her starting a new order called The Missionaries of Charity’ which now has branches throughout the world including branches in the developed world where they work with the homeless and people affected with AIDS. The primary objective of The Missionaries of Charity was to look after people, who nobody else was prepared to look after. Mother Teresa felt that serving others was a key principle of the teachings of Jesus Christ. She often mentioned the saying of Jesus, “Whatever you do to the least of my brethren, you do it to me.”
The following is a testimony by Mother Teresa…….”One evening we went out and rescued four people off the streets. One of them was in a desperate condition. I told the sisters, “You take care of the others. I will care for this one who is worse off.” I did everything for her that my love could do. I put her into bed, and I saw a beautiful smile light up her face. She squeezed my hand and only managed to say two words, “Thank you.” And then she closed her eyes. I couldn’t help but ask myself there beside her body, “What would I have said if I had been in her place?” My answer was very simple. I would have said that I was hungry, that I was dying, that I was cold. Or I would have said that this or that part of my body hurt or something like that. But she gave me much more. She gave me her grateful love. And she died with a smile on her face.
Throughout her life Mother Teresa has been given some of the most prestigious awards throughout the Globe, including (but not limited to); The Nobel Peace Prize, States Presidential Medal of Freedom, Congressional Gold Medal, and The first Pope John XXIII Peace Prize.
Over the last two decades of her life Mother Teresa suffered various health problems but nothing could dissuade her from fulfilling her mission of serving the poor and needy. Until her very last illness she was active in travelling around the world to the different branches of “The Missionaries of Charity”.
Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, you allowed the thirsting love of Jesus on the Cross to become a living flame within you, and so became the light of His love to all. Obtain from the Heart of Jesus (here make your request). Teach me to allow Jesus to penetrate and possess my whole being so completely that my life, too, may radiate His light and love to others. Amen.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Cause of Our Joy, pray for me.
Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, pray for me.