Mother Teresa was born in Yugoslavia on August 27th, 1910. Her original name was Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu. Her father owned a small farm. At the age of twelve she realized that what she wanted to do most of all, was to help the poor. She decided to train for missionary work and came to India at the age of nineteen to join the Sisters of Loretto, an Irish community of nuns with a mission in Kolkata. In 1928 she took her initial vows as a nun.
From 1929 to 1948 Mother Teresa taught at St. Mary’s High School in Kolkata but the suffering and poverty she glimpsed outside the convent walls disturbed her. In 1946 she left the convent school and devoted herself to working among the poor in the slums of Kolkata. She had no money so she started an open-air school for homeless children. Soon she was joined by many voluntary helpers. Various church organizations and the municipal authorities gave her monetary help. This made it possible for her to start her own order The Missionaries of Charity’ to love and take care of those persons whom nobody was prepared to look after. Today the ‘The Missionaries of Charity’ has over one thousand sisters and brothers, many of whom have been trained as doctors, nurses and social workers.
Various projects for rehabilitating slum-dwellers, children’s homes, homes for the dying, clinics and a leper colony, etc., were started by Mother Teresa. The Missionaries of Charity’ has also spread worldwide and undertakes relief work for a number of countries in Africa Asia and South America.
Mother Teresa’s work has been recognized throughout the world and she has received a number of awards, the most prestigious being the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize; in 1971 she received the Pope John XXIII Peace Prize; the Bharat Ratna and many more. The great soul left the world on 5th September, 1997.