Friday, September 5, 2008

Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997)

Born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in Macedonia, on August 27, 1910. Her family was of Albanian descent. At the age of twelve Agnes felt the call of God. At the age of eighteen she left her family home and joined the Sisters of Loreto, an Irish community of nuns with missions in India.

After a few months' training in Dublin she was sent to India. On May 24, 1931, she took her initial vows as a nun.

From 1931 to 1948 Mother Teresa taught at St. Mary's High School in Calcutta. The suffering and poverty she glimpsed outside the convent walls made such a deep impression on her that in 1948 she received permission from her superiors to leave the convent school and devote herself to working among the poorest of the poor in the slums of Calcutta.

Trusting in God's provision she started an open-air school for slum children. As voluntary help grew so did financial aid enabling her to extend the scope of the mission.
On October 7, 1950, Mother Teresa received permission from the Pope to start her own order, "The Missionaries of Charity". The orders primary task was to love and care for the "other" nobody was prepared to look after. She spent her life serving the poor and dying of Calcutta until her death in 1997.

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