Service and Sacrifice - The Selfless Life Of Mother Teresa (Part 1 of 2)

ADVERT HERE
Mother Teresa (1910–1997), born  Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu; was a Roman Catholic nun who devoted her life to serving the poor and destitute around the world. She spent many years in Calcutta, India where she founded the Missionaries of Charity, a religious congregation devoted to helping those in great need. In 1979, Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and became a symbol of charitable, selfless work. In 2016, Mother Teresa was canonised by the Roman Catholic Church as Saint Teresa.

Service and Sacrifice - The Selfless Life Of Mother Teresa (Part 1 of 2)

“It is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the doing. It is not how much we give, but how much love we put in the giving.” - Mother Teresa.

Mother Teresa was born in 1910 in Skopje, the capital city of Macedonia. Little is known about her early life, but at a young age, she felt a calling to be a nun and serve through helping the poor. At the age of 18, she was given permission to join a group of nuns in Ireland. After a few months of training, with the Sisters of Loreto, she was then given permission to travel to India. She took her formal religious vows in 1931 and chose to be named after St Therese of Lisieux – the patron saint of missionaries.

On her arrival in India, she began by working as a teacher; however, the widespread poverty of Calcutta made a deep impression on her, and this led to her starting a new order called “The Missionaries of Charity”. The primary objective of this mission was to look after people, who nobody else was prepared to look after. Mother Teresa felt that serving others was a fundamental principle of the teachings of Jesus Christ. She often mentioned the saying of Jesus.

“Love cannot remain by itself – it has no meaning. Love has to be put into action, and that action is service” – Mother Teresa


Service and Sacrifice - The Selfless Life Of Mother Teresa (Part 1 of 2)

She experienced two particularly traumatic periods in Calcutta. The first was the Bengal famine of 1943 and the second was the Hindu/Muslim violence in 1946, before the partition of India. In 1948, she left the convent to live full-time among the poorest of Calcutta. She chose to wear a white Indian sari, with a blue border, out of respect for the traditional Indian dress. For many years, Mother Teresa and a small band of fellow nuns survived on minimal income and food, often having to beg for funds. But, slowly her efforts with the poorest were noted and appreciated by the local community and Indian politicians.

“Whatever you do to the least of my brethren, you do it to me” – Mother Teresa

In 1952, she opened her first home for the dying, which allowed people to die with dignity. Mother Teresa often spent time with those who were dying. Some have criticised the lack of proper medical attention, and their refusal to give painkillers. Others say that it afforded many neglected people the opportunity to die knowing that someone cared.

Her work spread around the world. By 2013, there were 700 missions operating in over 130 countries. The scope of their work also expanded to include orphanages and hospices for those with terminal illnesses.

Mother Teresa never sought to convert those of another faith. Those in her hospices were given the religious rites appropriate to their faith. However, she had a very firm Catholic faith and took a strict line on abortion, the death penalty and divorce – even if her position was unpopular. Her whole life was influenced by her faith and religion, even though at times she confessed she didn’t feel the presence of God.

The Missionaries of Charity now has branches throughout the world including branches in the developed world where they work with the homeless and people affected by AIDS. In 1965, the organisation became an International Religious Family by a decree of Pope Paul VI.

Service and Sacrifice - The Selfless Life Of Mother Teresa (Part 1 of 2)

The article continues in Part 2.

Accredited to:
Pettinger, Tejvan. “Biography of Mother Teresa”, Oxford, UK.
 www.biographyonline.net, 18th May 2006. (Updated September 2016)

Adopted and edited by Tapiwa Zuze
ADVERT HERE

Contact Form

Name

Email *

Message *