Posted on FB November 7, 2023

Since she was young, Mother Teresa of Calcutta felt the call of God.  Her upbringing in a Catholic family, her Catholic schooling and her having seen  the plight of the  poor in the aftermath of World War II - all these contributed to her deep sentiments to serve her faith.  She aspired to spread the love of Jesus Christ. She felt that the path to being able to do it was to be a missionary.

At the age of eighteen she left her parental home in Skopje and joined the Sisters of Loreto, an Irish community of nuns with missions in India.
In India, she began working as a teacher. 
Devotion to her causes and her deep compassion led 'Mother Teresa of Calcutta' to seek permission from the Holy See to start her own religious order.  On receiving permission in 1950, she established the 'Missionaries of Charity,' to look after abandoned babies and to help the poorest of the poor. She once remarked that these poorest people in the fringes of the society  "lived like animals but die like angels".

She also wanted the order to love and care for those persons nobody was prepared to look after. She said, "the poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty."
The scope of her work also expanded to include orphanages and hospices for those with terminal illnesses.  In 1952, she opened her first home for the dying, which allowed people to pass away with dignity.  
She said, "not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love."

Then she started her  'Missionaries of Charity, she had only 12 followers.  In 1965 the Society became an International Religious Family by a decree of Pope Paul VI.   Her work spread around the world that by 1969, it has become a huge worldwide organisation. By 2013, there were 700 missions of her charity operating in over 130 countries.

In 1979 she received the Nobel Peace Prize.  Sometimes referred to as the "Saint of the Gutters," she was canonised by Pope Francis 1 as Saint Teresa in 2016.
Two miracles led to the canonisation of St. Teresa:  One miracle involved Monica Besra, a 30-year-old Kolkata woman who said praying to the nun cured a stomach tumor. The Vatican said they could find no "scientific explanation" for the woman's recovery. The other involved a Brazilian man with multiple brain tumors who was healed after loved ones prayed to Mother Teresa to heal him.   

Photos:  Wikipedia (Wikimedia Commons), catholic.org, You Tube
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