Many of us have learned to help others. You may already know what it means to be a volunteer. You may even have read about groups like the Peace Corps. This article is dedicated to a man who tried to make the lives of others better and received the Nobel Peace Prize for this.
Who was Mother Teresa? She was a nun, teacher and missionary. She was born on August 26, 1910 as Agnes Gonje Boyagiu. Raised in Yugoslavia (now Macedonia), she professed Catholicism. Her mother taught her to always help others. This inspired much of the work Teresa did as an adult.
At 12, Mother Teresa (then Agnes) felt she had a calling. She believed that she was destined for the religious life. Six years later she moved to Ireland. There she became a nun with the Loreto sisters. She took the name Sister Mary Teresa.
In 1931 Sister Mary Teresa was sent to Calcutta and became a teacher. In 1937, she made her final vows and became known as Mother Teresa. She taught for a total of 17 years. She even became the director of her school. However, in 1948 she left school to pursue her second calling. She believed she was meant to help people living in extreme poverty and disease.
Mother Teresa opened an open-air school for the children of Calcutta. She later founded more schools and a hospice in the city. People from all over the world heard about her work. Some came to Calcutta to help. In 1950, Mother Teresa founded her own order, the Missionaries of Charity.
The missionaries of mercy have spread all over the world. He sought to help those who live in poverty. The order created orphanages, nursing homes and clinics. Mother Teresa also opened a leprosy colony in the 1960s. She later opened Gift of Love in New York offering help to people living with HIV/AIDS.
Mother Teresa has attracted international attention with her work. In 1965, Pope Paul VI awarded the Missionaries of Charity with a laudatory decree. Mother Teresa was also called the Pearl of India. She was awarded the gold medal of the Soviet Peace Committee. In 1979, she received the Nobel Peace Prize.
Of course, Mother Teresa’s life has not been without problems. There were reports of poor hygiene and poor medical care at the centers she opened. Later, she also used her public platform to speak out against divorce, birth control, and abortion. Some people did not like that she supported policies they considered harmful. The Order of the Missionaries of Charity also came under investigation. He was accused of financial fraud and other illegal activities.
In 1997, Mother Teresa passed away after a long period of poor health. In 2016, she became a Catholic saint. In Catholicism, saints are people who are believed to be in Heaven. On Earth, they lived meaningful lives that others look to as examples. The Catholic faith believes that people can ask saints to pray for them. Every saint has a holiday. Mother Teresa’s is September 5th.
How would you describe Mother Teresa’s legacy? Do you enjoy helping others? Doing a good deed for just one person can make a big difference in the world. Take some time today to think about how you can make the world a better place.