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109th Birth Anniversary of Mother Teresa who taught world importance of giving

By Vishal S

New Delhi, Aug 26: Mother Teresa, who devoted her life to help the poorest of the poor, the destitutes and orphans, is a symbol of humanity. Also known as Saint Teresa of Calcutta (now Kolkata), Mother received Nobel Peace Prize for her charity work. She was born in Skopje, Macedonia, on August 26, 1910, and today is her 109th birth anniversary.

Agartala: Catholic nun cleans a portrait of late Mother Teresa on her 109rd birth anniversary, at an orphanage at Agartala, on Saturday. (Image - PTI)

She was canonised (recognised by the church as a saint) on 4 September 2016 for her contribution to the humanity. She was born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu. At the age of eighteen she left her parental home in Skopje and joined the Sisters of Loreto, a community of nuns with missions in India. She arrived in India in 1929. She was a teacher at the Loreto convent school in Entally, Kolkata. Mother was said to have been moved and deeply pained to see poverty and suffering around her on the streets. On October 7, 1950, Mother Teresa received permission from the Holy See to start her own order, "The Missionaries of Charity", whose primary task was to love, care and those suffering, especially children.

Mother Teresa's life:

  • 1910: Born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in Skopje, present-day Macedonia, on August 26; Baptised on August 27
  • 1928: Leaves home on Sep 25 to become a Roman Catholic Loreto nun and begins novitiate training in Dublin.
  • 1929: Arrives in Kolkata, becomes a teacher at St Mary's School
  • 1931: Takes her first vows as a nun
  • 1937: Takes final vows as a nun, becomes known as Mother Teresa
  • 1946: On Sep 10, she received "the call within the call" to serve the poor
  • 1948: Starts teaching poor children, opens her first slum school.
  • 1950: Founds the Missionaries of Charity on Oct 7 with 12 sisters after getting the green signal from the Vatican
  • 1951: Receives Indian Citizenship
  • 1952: Opens first home for dying at Kalighat in South Kolkata. Names it Nirmal Hriday (Pure Heart)
  • 1953: Shifts to a two-storeyed building on Lower Circular Road; it's now called Mother House, the global headquarters of the Missionaries of Charity
  • 1957: Begins her work with lepers for which her Order becomes well known around the world * 1962: Receives Padma Shri from the President for her humanitarian work
  • 1965: Catholic Church grants permission for setting up missions outside India; the first opens that year in Venezuela
  • 1971: Receives Pope John XXIII Peace Prize and uses money to build a leper colony
  • 1979: Receives Nobel Peace Prize for work with the destitute and dying .
  • 1980: Conferred India's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna.
  • 1982: Rescues 37 mentally disabled children from a hospital in besieged Beirut.
  • 1983: Visits Pope John Paul II. Hospitalized with heart attack, first of several.
  • 1985: Awarded Medal of Freedom, highest US civilian honour
  • 1997: Steps down as head of her order.
  • 1997: Dies of heart failure in Kolkata on Sep 5, aged 87.
  • 2003: Beatified by Pope John Paul II -- placing her a step from sainthood
  • 2016: Declared a saint by Pope Francis on Sep 4

Mother Teresa Top Quotes:

"Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies."

"Intense love does not measure, it just gives."

"Peace begins with a smile."

"I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love."

"Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.""Life is love, enjoy it. Life is mystery, know it. Life is a promise, fulfill it."

"There are many people who can do big things, but there are very few people who will do the small things."

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