Mother Teresa is one of the most precious gem of India who was not born in India but worked to such an extent that she was given the Bharat Ratan award. She was given the award for the social work she did for very small and poorest communities. She was awarded with prestigious “Bharat Ratan” award in 1980.
Mother Teresa was known as “The Saint of the Gutters” during her entire life time because of the social work she had done for the poor people of very low community.
Early Life of Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa was not an Indian by birth. She was born in Skopje to catholic parents, Nikole and Dranafile Bojaxhiu who were Albanian descent. the current capital of the Republic of Macedonia on August 26, 1910. She was baptized as Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu.
Father of Agnes was a construction contractor and would do trading of medicines. She lost her father when she was on 8 years old. He was very active in politics and local church activities in Macedonia so people doubted he was given a poison by his enemies.
Agnes was the youngest child of her parents. Her mother was deeply into charity and a very simple woman of compassion. She instilled the values of compassion and sharing in Mother Teresa when she was very small. Agnes would fascinate by stories of missionaries lives in her childhood.
She told many times that how her mother would tell her not to eat a single mouthful unless it is shared with others.
Education of Agnes and Transformation to Mother Teresa
Agnes decided to become a nun a the age of 18 years in 1928. She left her home and never saw her sister and mother again in her entire life. Before this she had attended convent school and a state-run primary school for education. She would sing solo songs in the school. She would often take part in church activities and participate in congregation activities.
When she decided to become a nun, she flied off to Ireland to join the Sisters of Loreto in Dublin and there only she took the name Sister Mary Teresa. She had chosen that name after Saint Thérèse of Lisieux.
After one year of entering into nunhood, Mary Teresa travelled to India for the novitiate period. She reached Darjeeling in May 1931 for this to tookt he first profession of Vows. From here she was sent to Calcutta to teach Saint Mary’s High School for Girls where girls of very poor family would come for education.
She remained there to for a very long time and took on the title of “Mother” and famously known as Mother Teresa and became the principle in 1944. She also learnt Hindi and Bengali for better communication with people here.
Mother Teresa was a witness of that time to the Bengal Famine in 1943 Hindu Muslim Riots of 1946 and impacted her life a lot. She was very disturbed with the sufferings of people are here.
On 10 September, 1946, while traveling to Darjeeling, North-Bengal, for the annual retreat of the Convent, Mother heard “the call within call”. She felt as if the Jesus was asking her to come out of the walls and serve the down-trodden of the society. Following the Call, on August 17, 1947, Mother left the Convent. Out of reverence towards the Indian culture she adopted white sari with a blue border. He applied for Indian Citizenship and took basic medical training from Holy Family Hospital in Patna. For the next few years, Mother Teresa lived among the poor, in the slums of Calcutta. She, along with a few fellow nuns, went door to door, begging for food and financial help. They survived on the bare minimum and used the excess to help people around them. Gradually, her tireless efforts were recognised and help started pouring in from various sources.
It is noted that Mother Teresa experience a calling on 10 September, 1946 from Jesus Christ. According to this “call within a call” she had words with Christ while she was travelling to Darjeeling for the annual retreat of the Convent in a train.
She said Christ had asked her to abandon teaching and do work in slum areas of Calcutta for the lowest community and sick people. She asked for permission to leave the teaching and join this social cause. But it took around year and a half for the permission to receive. After getting permission she finally left the Loreto convent for the social work as per the “call within a call”.
She started wearing white sari with a blue border. Mother Teresa did not have any medical training before to this. Therefore, she applied for a basic medical training from Holy Family Hospital in Patna. Initially she along with few other nuns would go door-to-door to ask for help for the needy. Later their hard work paid off and people started coming forward to give their support.
Miracles Associated with Mother Teresa
We have heard a lot of miracles happened due to her in saving lives of many. According to one such instance in 2002 an Indian woman named Monica Besra claimed in Vatican city that she was cured of her abdominal tumor through Mother Teresa’s intercession. Following this she was entitled with “Blessed Teresa of Calcutta” by Pope John Paul II on 19 October, 2003
Second famous miracle that happened was on 17 December, 2015. A brazilian man named Marcilio Andrino was diagnosed with a viral brain infection and had gone into coma. His family members prayed Mother Teresa and when the patient was taken to operation theatre to carry the surgery, he woke up without pain and all the symptoms of pain and infection had gone.
She was canonized as a saint on September 4, 2016 after 19 years of her death in a ceremony led by Pope Francis held in St. Peter’s Square in Vatican. Thousands of people around the world attended the canonization ceremony of Mother Teresa.
Death of Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa died on 5 September 1997 at the age of 87 years in Calcutta(Kolkatta), West Bengal, India. She had said,”By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the Heart of Jesus.”