Blessed Teresa of Calcutta , commonly known as 'Mother Teresa' was born in Macedonia in 1910 and felt guided to work as a nun at an age of 21. Her beatification by Pope John Paul II following her death gave her the title "Blessed Teresa of Calcutta".
Although born on the 26 August 1910, she considered 27 August, the day she was baptized, to be her "true birthday". “By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the Heart of Jesus.”
In her words, she wanted to help "the hungry, the naked, the homeless, the crippled, the blind, the lepers, and all those people who feel unwanted, unloved, uncared for throughout society, people that have become a burden to the society and are shunned by everyone." She also began an open-air school for slum children, and depended entirely on volunteer help and donations for her efforts, even to the point of begging for her own food. Two years later, the Catholic Church allowed her to establish her own order, the Missionaries of Charity, which consisted of 12 nuns.
As her contributions continued in a steady stream, Mother Teresa was able to expand her missions and service to include what she called “the poorest of the poor.” In India, these were known as the untouchables, the people that were believed to be riddled with disease and death, and touching them at all was culturally wrong.
What makes Mother Teresa so different from so many of us was that societal disparities didn’t dictate her actions, and certainly didn’t affect her love of all people everywhere. She did not care what religious, economic, educational or cultural background people were from; she saw it as her job to love people as much as she believed God loved them, and saw in each of them “the face of Jesus.” She helped to feed and care for the lowliest of people. She gave the gifts of comfort, humanity and dignity to people that believed themselves to be unworthy, and with a simple hug would often bring a person to immediate tears because they had forgotten the feel of human touch.
She was a true woman of action, and loved through serving others her whole life until she died at the age of 87 in 1997. She wanted no praise or fame for her efforts, only help to add to her efforts.
“Preach at all times…and when necessary use words.”
- MOTHER TERESA