Mother Teresa biography

This Mother Teresa biography highlights just some aspects of an extraordinary woman who dedicated her life to serving the poor and vulnerable in the slums of Calcutta. Mother Teresa is known world-wide for her most amazing lessons in sacrifice, love and compassion.

The Mother Teresa biography: Simple beginnings

Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, later known as Mother Teresa, was born to a devout catholic family on Aug. 26, 1910, in Skopje, Macedonia. She was the youngest of three surviving children. Her father died when she was 8-years old and she developed a very close relationship with her mother, who instilled in her a deep and life-long sense of charity. At 12-years old she felt inspired to follow a religious life and at the age of eighteen she joined the Sisters of Loreto, a community of nuns in Dublin, Ireland, who had missions in India. She was later sent to India where, on May 24, 1931, she took her vows as a nun. Giving up her home life forever was one of her first most amazing lessons in sacrifice.

The Mother Teresa biography: An act of faith

Mother Teresa taught Geography and History to girls from wealthy families at St. Mary’s High School in Calcutta for 15 years. But eventually the poverty that existed in the slums around her moved her to such pity that she decided to leave the confines of the convent school, so that she could realise her dream of helping the sick and poor more effectively. Her dream was realised when, in 1948, having received permission from her superiors to leave, she displayed another of her most amazing lessons in sacrifice and devoted herself entirely to working and living amongst the poorest of the poor. In 1950, with permission from the Vatican, she founded the world renowned Missionaries of Charity, a religious order devoted to helping the sick, the poor and the destitute.

Mother Teresa had no money to finance her dreams of helping the needy, but she did have an abundance of faith and she managed to start a basic open-air school for slum children in Calcutta. Soon voluntary workers joined her and the much needed financial support materialised, allowing her to expand the horizons of her charitable work.  As her efforts became well-known and finances improved, she established homes for homeless youths, hospices, orphanages, and leper houses throughout India.

In time, Missionaries of Charity grew, expanding its reach to many countries across the globe. Over the years, Mother Teresa received many awards in recognition of her great humanitarian work including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 “for work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which also constitutes a threat to peace.”  She died in 1997 and the Indian government honoured her with a state funeral. She is expected to be canonized as a saint in 2016.

“God doesn’t require us to succeed; he only requires that you try.” — Mother Teresa