Saint Teresa of Calcutta: What to know in regards to the heroic Catholic nun, Nobel Peace Prize recipient

St. Teresa of Calcutta, or “Mom Teresa,” is commonly held up as a logo of selflessness and excessive devotion to charity. Because the founding father of the Missionaries of Charity and recipient of quite a few awards, she is maybe one of the iconic figures of the twentieth Century.

Born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in Skopje, Macedonia, she skilled tragedy at a younger age with the dying of her father. In accordance with, Bojaxhiu’s mom, Drana, invited the destitute of town to dine with their household.

She was mentioned to have informed her daughter: “My little one, by no means eat a single mouthful except you’re sharing it with others.”

Receiving “A Name Inside a Name”

November 1960: Mom Teresa (1910 – 1997), the Albanian nun who devoted her life to the poor, the destitute and the sick of Calcutta, incomes the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. (Photograph by Keystone Options/Getty Photographs)
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The longer term saint first felt a name in direction of non secular life at 12 years of age, when her congregation made a pilgrimage to the Church of the Black Madonna in Letnice. At 18, she traveled to Eire to hitch the Sisters of Loreto in Dublin and took the identify “Teresa” after the nineteenth Century St. Therese of Lisieux. 

After a short keep, she traveled to Darjeeling, India and finally Calcutta, the place she taught at a ladies’ college. Her time as an educator included serving as principal at that faculty beginning in 1944. However shortly thereafter, throughout a practice experience in 1946, she felt what she described as a “name inside a name.”

“The message was fairly clear – it was an order,” she reportedly mentioned. “He wished me to be poor and to like him within the distressing disguise of the poorest of the poor.”


Devotion to the poor

St. Teresa spent many years working to uplift the poor and obtained quite a few awards for her efforts, together with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. Referred to as the “saint of the gutters,” she began a non secular order which might develop to embody 1000’s of members in additional than 100 international locations. She additionally based the Missionaries of Charity Brothers, Missionaries of Charity Fathers, the Contemplative Brothers, and a contemplative department for the sisters.

The Missionaries of Charity ministered to the poor, lepers, these with HIV/AIDS, deserted youngsters, and others in want. Teresa’s humanitarian work earned her the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honor, in 1980. The long-lasting determine went on to obtain honorary U.S. citizenship in 1996.

VATICAN CITY - OCTOBER 19: A tapestry depicting Mother Teresa framed by the statues of St. Peter's Colonnade during the beatification ceremony led by Pope John Paul II October 19, 2003 in Vatican City, Italy. Mother Teresa won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for all of her charity work. She died in 1997. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

VATICAN CITY – OCTOBER 19: A tapestry depicting Mom Teresa framed by the statues of St. Peter’s Colonnade through the beatification ceremony led by Pope John Paul II October 19, 2003 in Vatican Metropolis, Italy. Mom Teresa received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for all of her charity work. She died in 1997. (Photograph by Franco Origlia/Getty Photographs)
(2003 Getty Photographs)

As she confronted rising well being issues, St. Teresa supplied to step down as head of the group however was re-elected with just one dissenting vote – her personal – and withdrew her request to step down. She finally retired because of a worsening coronary heart situation, together with her order selecting her alternative in 1997.  


Beatification and Sainthood

Mom Teresa’s street to sainthood started sooner than anticipated in 1999 – two years after her dying. Historically, there’s a minimal five-year ready interval after an individual’s dying earlier than the nomination might be submitted. Pope John Paul II reduce three years off the ready interval for Mom Teresa – the primary time it was ever executed within the trendy papal period.

In accordance with Encyclopedia Britannica, in 2003, she went by beatification – a radical investigation into a possible saint’s life which features a confirmed miracle attributed to the potential saint’s intercession. 

Pope Francis, in 2015, cleared her for canonization — the ultimate step within the declaration of a saint. To achieve this stage, a second miracle, attributed to prayers made to the candidate after they’ve been beatified, have to be met. In Mom Teresa’s case, a Brazilian man had been cured of a viral mind an infection years earlier after his spouse prayed for Mom Teresa’s intercession.

Tens of 1000’s witnessed her canonization in Italy on Sept. 4, 2016. “Mom Teresa,” Pope Francis mentioned on the time, “in all features of her life, was a beneficiant dispenser of divine mercy, making herself obtainable for everybody by her welcome and protection of human life, these unborn and people deserted and discarded.”

Stance on abortion

As a Catholic nun, she got here below heavy criticism for standing by Church instructing on abortion. Simply years after the landmark choice in Roe v. Wade, Mom Teresa declared abortion the “best destroyer of peace at the moment.”


“For if a mom can homicide her personal little one in her personal womb, what’s left for you and for me to kill one another?” she requested in her 1979 Nobel acceptance speech.

She additionally decried the observe in a jaw-dropping speech in entrance of former President Invoice Clinton and then-Fiirst Woman Hillary Clinton in 1994. 

In the course of the Nationwide Prayer Breakfast, she mentioned: “By abortion, the mom doesn’t study to like, however kills even her personal little one to resolve her issues … abortion simply results in extra abortion. Any nation that accepts abortion just isn’t instructing its individuals to like, however to make use of any violence to get what they need. This is the reason the best destroyer of affection and peace is abortion.”


Her place on that situation encountered criticism from famend atheist Christopher Hitchens, who recommended she stunted efforts at preventing poverty.

“She spent her life opposing the one recognized remedy for poverty, which is the empowerment of ladies and the emancipation of them from a livestock model of obligatory copy,” he mentioned.

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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