Mother Teresa and the Poverty of Calcutta

Mother Teresa was one of the greatest humanitarians of all time. She gave her life to comfort the people suffering from the horrific poverty of Calcutta. Below are excerpts from the online biography by Bio.TRUE STORY.


SOBMother-Teresa12Baptized on August 27, 1910, in Skopje, Macedonia, Mother Teresa taught in India for 17 years before she experienced her [call to care] for the sick and poor. Her order established a hospice; centers for the blind, aged, and disabled; and a leper colony. [In 1979 she] received the Nobel Peace Prize for her humanitarian work.

Early Life

Catholic nun and missionary Mother Teresa was born circa August 26, 1910 … [At the age of 18 years, she] decided to become a nun …[She] was sent to Calcutta, where she [taught] atSOBMother-Teresa17 Saint Mary’s High School for Girls, a school … dedicated to teaching girls from the city’s poorest Bengali families. …[On] September 10, 1946, …[Mother Teresa] was riding a train … when Christ spoke to her and told her to work in the slums of Calcutta aiding the city’s poorest and sickest people.… she [began her calling] with no more specific goal than to aid “the unwanted, the unloved, the uncared for.”SOBMother-Teresa5

The Missionaries of Charity

Mother Teresa … began an open-air school and…home for the dying [and] destitute in a dilapidated building …In October 1950, she won [the Catholic Church's] recognition for a new congregation, the Missionaries of Charity, which she founded with only 12 members…[Soon] SOBMother-Teresa23the ranks of her congregation swelled and donations poured in from around India and across the globe…[During] the 1950s and 1960s, she established a leper colony, an orphanage, a nursing home, a family clinic and a string of mobile health clinics.

International Charity and Recognition

MOTHER TERESA-POPE JOHN PAUL IIIn February 1965, Pope Paul VI bestowed the Decree of Praise upon the Missionaries of Charity… By the time of her death in 1997, the Missionaries of Charity numbered over 4,000—in addition to thousands more lay volunteers—with 610 foundations in 123 countries on all seven continents.

In 1971, Mother Teresa traveled to New York City where she opened a soup kitchen [and] a home to care for those infected with HIV/AIDS. The next year she went to Beirut, Lebanon, where she crossed frequently between Christian East Beirut and Muslim West Beirut to aid children of both faiths. …She was awarded “Jewel of India,” the highest honor bestowed on Indian civilians … in 1979, Mother Teresa …was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of her work “in bringing help to suffering humanity.”SOBMother-Teresa7


PHOTO PART OF SPECIAL EXHIBIT ON LIFE OF MOTHER TERESADespite [her] widespread praise, Mother Teresa [was criticized] for her … endorsement of …the Catholic Church’s more controversial doctrines, such as opposition to contraception and abortion. …

Death and Legacy

After several years of deteriorating health in which she suffered from heart, lung and kidney problems, Mother Teresa died on September 5, 1997 at the age of 87. …

SOBMother-Teresa6…Mother Teresa stands out as one of the greatest humanitarians of the 20th century…Summing up her life… Mother Teresa said, “By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the Heart of Jesus.”



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