This month in our Image Author 101 series, we’re featuring Mother Teresa.
Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu–born on August 26, 1910 in Skopje, Macedonia to an Albanian family –is better known to the world as Mother Teresa. As a young girl, she attended a convent-run primary school and sang in the local Sacred Heart choir. At the young age of 12 years old, Mother Teresa strongly felt God calling to her to become a missionary and spread the Gospel and the love of God.
At 18, she left her home in Skopje and joined the Sisters of Loreto of Dublin. In Dublin, she decided to take the name Mary Teresa after Saint Thérèse of Lisieux. After completing her training in Ireland, Mother Teresa went on a mission in Darjeeling, India. There in 1931 she took her vows as a nun. In 1937 she took her final profession of vows and according to custom for the Loreto nuns, she took the title of “mother” making her Mother Teresa.
For the next 17 years she taught geography and history and served as the principal at St. Mary’s High School in Calcutta, India. While teaching, Mother Teresa was moved by the extreme suffering and poverty she witnessed in Calcutta, and in 1948 she left her position at the school to work in the slums. With little aid, she set out to help the poor, sick, outcast, and dying by opening an outdoor school and converting a government building into a home for the destitute and dying.
In October of 1950, Mother Teresa received permission to start her own order, “The Missionaries of Charity.” The chief goal of those who were part of the Missionaries of Charity was to love and care for people who had no one else to help or care for them. After receiving a Decree of Praise from Pope Paul VI, The Missionaries of Charity grew in numbers of volunteers, funds, and influence – all to help the least fortunate.
Mother Teresa’s extraordinary and tireless work has been recognized and acclaimed throughout the world and she has received a number of prestigious awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for her work with the poor and “in bringing help to suffering humanity.”
Mother Teresa’s health deteriorated for several years, with problems stemming from her heart, lungs, and kidneys. She died on September 5, 1997 at the age of 87. Since her death 17 years ago, Mother Teresa has remained an inspiration and an exemplar of compassion. In 2003, she was beatified, the third step toward possible sainthood, giving her the title “Blessed Teresa of Calcutta.” Her legacy and her teaching live on through the Missionaries of Charity and through her books, including the New York Times best-seller Come Be My Light.
Read a sample from Come Be My Light here.
This month, we’re giving away 5 copies of Come Be My Light. Enter to win by filling in the form below. One entry per person please.
This giveaway is now closed.