One of those few times when I can happily admire the power of sainthood that engulfed thousands of lives a few years back. Celebrating the birth anniversary of a benevolent, generous soul Mother Teresa.

There are no great things, only small things with great love. Happy are those.
If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.
Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.

She was born as Agnes, in 1910 in Skopje, capital of Republic of Macedonia to a father who was an entrepreneur, and mother who was involved with the church. After her father’s death, Agnes became close to her compassionate mother who taught her all about charity and generosity.

In 1928, when Agnes turned 18, she answered her religious calling and moved to Ireland as a nun and joined Sister of Loreto in Dublin. Here is where she adopted the name Sister Mary Teresa after Saint Thérèse of Lisieux.

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Mother Teresa at the home for the Dying, Mother Teresa’s Missions of Charity, Calcutta, India, 1980. Picture Credit:

Sister Mary Teresa was sent to Calcutta a little after 1931, where she taught history and geography to poor Bengali girls, in order to help them fight their poverty. She even became fluent in Bengali and Hindi during her stay in India. Finally in the year, 1937, she took her final Profession of Vows to a life of poverty, chastity and obedience and got the title of “Mother”. While she continued to teach the girls at St. Mary’s in Calcutta, she soon found her calling to help and aid the poor and the sick in the slums of Calcutta.

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1948 onwards, Mother Teresa’s mission to look after the poor and the sick began, and gained so much support that she opened an orphanage, leper colony, nursing home, family clinic and health clinics. She even travelled to New York and Lebanon to help people of different faiths.

Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. Picture Credit:

Mother Teresa had founded the Order of the Missionaries of Charity that gathered volunteers to continue Mother Teresa’s work even internationally. While she did not choose the path of benevolence for receiving awards, her efforts towards humanity were noticed and she received one of the highest honours in the world- the Nobel Peace Price in 1979. She was also awarded the Jewel of India, Soviet Union’s Gold Medal of the Soviet Peace Committee. For her of course the biggest reward was thousands of blessings she received from people all over the world.

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Her faith remained unshaken in a world that went through two wars and political unrest in the name of power, race and faith. By 1997 the Missionaries of Charity had about 4000 members, excluding the volunteers spread across 610 foundations in 123 countries! Now that’s a faith I can count on.

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