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Mother Teresa

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Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu was born August 26, 1910 in Skopje, in Macedonia. Her childhood was comfortable and prosperous due to her father’s success. Her father encouraged his children to be generous and compassionate to those less fortunate. Her mother was very religious and she took the children to morning mass. Agnes often helped her mother deliver parcels of food and money to the poor and prayed with the whole family every evening. The family’s life changed dramatically after their father’s death, when Agnes was 9. Although now poor themselves, they continued to help those less fortunate. Christianity became increasingly important in Agnes’ life. From the age of 12, she was aware of a desire to devote her life to God. As Agnes thought about what she could do for Christ, she started to feel a call for God. In the two years she decided to become a nun. Agnes spent longer periods of time going on retreats and received guidance from her Father Confessor. At the age of 17, she made the decision to become a nun, because she had been taught that chastity is a special and pure grace. This was an important moment for Agnes as she chose a life of self-sacrifice.

Agnes was just 18 when she decided to join the Sisters of Our Lady of Loreto, who were very active in India. On December 1, 1928 the crossing to India started. In the beginning of 1929 they reached Colombo, then Madres and finally Calcutta. The journey continued to Darjeeling, where she completed her training. Agnes was trained in prayer, scriptures, theology, and the spirituality and history of her Order. She started to learn Hindi and Bengali and to improve her English. She taught at the local school and worked in a small medical station. On May 24, 1931, Agnes took her first vows of poverty, chastity and obedience as a sister of Loreto. She chose her name in religious life as St. Theresa of Lisieux. Soon after she went to Calcutta to begin her teaching career. She went to Loreto and for the next 19 years she lived the life of a Loreto nun and an educator of girls in a form of semi-enclosure. Her main subject was geography until she became head mistress. Whenever she left the compound to teach at another school, she would see the slums. Calcutta was a deeply troubled city due to famine, floods and cyclones, which destroyed harvests and the number of beggars in search of food greatly increased. S...

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...ers to “Give Christ to the world, do not keep him to yourself and in doing so use your hands.” Mother Teresa on the significance of death said “For me that is the greatest development of the human life, to die in peace and dignity, because that’s for eternity.” She is a Christian following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. The heart of the Christian message is forgiveness, and in Mother Teresa’s own words “Without forgiveness there can be no real love.” She fully understood the Gospel of love; she practiced it with her whole heart, and through the daily toil of her hands. Through Mother Teresa’s work, many other charities were started. She had a dream, which became a reality. She provided a refuge of last resort for the dying when the alternative was to die alone on the street. The belief that God mandated Mother Teresa is shared by all of her Sisters. The way her life touched others particularly in the West, will probably be considered a far greater achievement than anything she did to change Calcutta. She devoted herself to helping the dying, the destitute, lepers, AIDS victims, orphans and society’s outcasts around the world because she saw in each person the human face of God.
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