Mother Teresa was an Albanian Indian Roman Catholic nun and missionary. She was born in Skojpe now the capital of Macedonia. After living in Macedonia for eighteen years she moved to Ireland and then to India, where she lived most part of her life. She was born on 26 August 1910 .She was the youngest child of Nikolle and Dranafile Bojaxihu .Her father who was involved in Albanian community politics in Macedonia died in 1919when she was eights years old.
According to her biography by Joan Graff Clucas during her early years Teresa was fascinated by of the lives of the missionaries and there services in Bengal. By the age of12 she was convinced that should commit herself to religious life. Teresa left home in 1928 at age of 18 to join the sisters of loreto at Loreto Abbey in ireland Rathfarnham to learn English with the view of a becoming missionary. She never saw her mother or her sister again. Her family lived in Skojpe until 1934 when they moved to Tirana. She arrived in India in 1929 and began her journey in Darjeeling in the lower Himalayas where she learnt Bengali and taught at Teresa school near her convent. Teresa took her first religious vows on24 May 1931. Teresa took her solemn vows on 14 May 1937 while she was a teacher at the loreto convent school in Entally ,eastern Calcutta. She served there for nearly twenty years and was appointed it’s headmistress in1944.Although Teresa enjoyed teaching at the school, she was increasingly disturbed by the poverty surrounding her in Calcutta. The Bengal famine of 1943 brought misery and death to the city and the August 1946 Direct Action Day began a period of Muslim Hindu violence.
In 1950 Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity ,a Roman Catholic religious congregation which had 4500 sisters and was active in 133 Countries in 2012. The congregation manages homes for people dying of Hiv Aids ,leprosy and tuberculosis. Members who take vows of chastity, poverty and obedience also profess a vows to give wholehearted device to the poorest of the poor.
On 7 October 1950 Teresa recieved Vatican permission for the diocesan congregation which would become the Missionaries of Charity. The congregation began to attract recruits and donations, and By the the 1960s it had opened hospitals orphanages and leper houses throughout India. Teresa then expanded the congregation abroad ,opening a house in Venezuela in 1965 with five sisters. Houses followed in Italy ,Tanzania and Austria in 1968and during the 1970s the congregation opened houses and foundations in the United States of America and dozens of countries in Asia ,Africa and Europe. By 1996 ,Teresa operated 517 missions in over 100 countries. Her missionaries of Charity grew from twelve to thousands ,serving the poorest of the poor in 450 centres worldwide. Mother Teresa had a heart attack in Rome while she was visiting pope John Paul in1983. In April 1996 she fell breaking her collarbone and four months later she had malaria and heart failure. Although Teresa had heart surgery her health was Cleary declining.
On 13 March 1997 Mother Teresa resigned as the head of the Missionaries of Charity and she died on 5 September 1997. At the time of her death, the Missionaries of Charity had over4000 sisters and an associated brotherhood of 300 members. She recieved a State funeral from the Indian government in gratitude for her services to the poor of all religions in the country.
- By Poorvi Bellap