Mother Teresa – A life dedicated for poor
Mother Teresa, popularly known as the Saint Teresa of Calcutta, was born as Anjeze Gonxhe Bojaxhiu on 26 August 1910 in Skopje. On September 4, 2016, Mother Teresa was canonized as a Saint by Pope Francis in St.Peter’s Square at the Vatican City.
The angel of the poor people died on September 5, 1997, but she left a huge impact on the lives of many people. She is considered to be the savior of many poor people, especially the people who used to live on the streets of Calcutta. Though the winner of Nobel Prize, she vowed to live a life amidst poverty and promised to help the poor.
She made her advent to Calcutta on January 6, 1929, as an 18-year-old sister of the Order of Loreto. On October 7, 1950, Mother received permission from the Vatican church to start the diocesan congregation. Its aim was to help all those people who went through an unusual feeling of being unwanted, unloved and uncared by the society. It began as a small assembly in Calcutta consisting of 13 members.
By 1997, the congregation expanded with nearly 4000 sisters taking care of the orphanage, AIDS centers and charity centers located worldwide. These orphanages and centers were home for thousands of refugees, aged people, blind, disabled, homeless people and victims of natural disasters and epidemics.
In 1952, Mother started the first Home for the Dying in the city of Calcutta. She named it as Nirmal Hriday – The Home of the Pure Heart. The Home did not create any kind of religious bias. The Muslims read Quran, Hindus received Ganges water and Catholics received their last rites.
Later, Mother opened a home for people suffering from Hansen’s disease, popularly known as Leprosy. This heavenly abode was named as Shanti Nagar – City of Peace. They established clinics throughout Calcutta and provided free medication and bandages to all the sufferers.
A lot of lost children were bought to the attention of Mother, and thus, she decided to open a home for them. In 1955, Teresa opened a home named as Nirmala Shishu Bhavan, to provide shelter for homeless orphan and youth.
The congregation attracted a lot of recruits and charitable donations, therefore, helping Mother to open orphanages and leprosy home across the country. Gradually, she expanded the congregation throughout the globe. The first house of the congregation at abroad was opened in Venezuela (1965) with five sisters. The other places that followed Venezuela were Rome, Tanzania, Austria, Asia, Africa, Europe and the United States.
In 1963, Mother Teresa bought out the Missionaries of Charity Brothers followed by a reflective branch of the sisters in 1976. She established schools in the slum to educate the poor and needy children. Most of her homes helped drug addicts and prostitutes to get a new and peaceful life ahead.
She used to travel to far off countries in order to help the poor people. She gained a lot of respect when she traveled to Ethiopia to serve the hungry people, Chernobyl to meet the radiation victims and to look after the earthquake victims in Armenia.
Though she is no more amongst us, her social service continues to be an inspiration for each and every one. She emerged as a mother from just a foreigner and today, with her services and spiritual miracles, she has emerged as a great Saint.