Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, later named Mother Teresa, was born on August 26, 1910 in Skopje, Yugoslavia. She was born into an Albanian Roman Catholic family.
There were three children, one boy and two girls. She was the youngest. She attended the government school. In her teens, Agnes became a member of a youth group in her local parish called Sodality. Through her involvement with their activities guided by Yugoslavian priests, Agnes became interested in missionaries in India. There, letters from Yugoslavian priests working in Bengal were read. Young Agnes was one of the Sodalists who volunteered for the Bengal Mission.
When she turned eighteen, she left home to join the Irish Loreto order, whose Sisters ran a mission in Calcutta, India. Mother Teresa’s first assignment was teaching high school girls in Calcutta from 1929 to 1946. There she taught geography at the St. Mary’s High School. For some years, she was a principal of the school and was also in charge of the Daughters of St. Anne, the Indian religious order attached to the Loreto Sisters.
By December 1, 1928 Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu had chosen the name of Sister Mary Teresa of the Child Christ after Teresa of Liseux. “On May 24, 1937, Sister Teresa committed herself to her vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience for life and in doing so became, as was then usual for Loreto nuns, ‘Mother Teresa’” (Spink 17).
In 1946, she wanted to work directly with the poor. She applied for permission to go out and work among the poor in the slums of the city. “It was among these people that she felt a call to work, and to spend the rest of her life, in daily contact with them” (Spink 224). Her request to work with the poor was granted. Finally, she changed from the uniform of the Loreto order to the customary cheap Indian sari. Her work started after an intensive course in nursing.
In addition to the Sisters, Mother Teresa founded four other bra...
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Establishing one’s goal and devoting her life to the helpless, this is the story of Mother Teresa. Not only was she a servant of god, she was recognized as a mother to many. “I'm just a little pencil in his hand. Tomorrow, if he finds somebody more helpless, more hopeless, I think he will do still greater things with her and through her” (Crimp 85). Mother Teresa lived an extraordinary life. With one word to describe her, I would say she was miraculous.
Crimp, Susan. Touched by a Saint: Personal Encounters with Mother Teresa. Notre Dame, Indiana: Sorin Books, 2000.
Muggeridge, Malcolm. Something Beautiful for God: Mother Teresa of Calcutta. New York: Harper & Row, 1971.
Spink, Kathryn. Mother Teresa: A Complete Authorized Biography. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1997.
-------. The Miracle of Love: Mother Teresa of Calcutta, her Missionaries of Charity, and her Co-workers. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1981.
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