Mother Teresa- the famous founder of order of the missionaries of charity devoted her life helping the poor and the needy people. It is quite inspirational to know how this little girl who lost her father at a very young age, grew to become such a powerful and influential woman known across the world.

‘Mary Teresa Bojaxhiu’ was born with the name ‘Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu’ on August 26,1910 in Skopje Yugoslavia to Nicola and Johanna Bojaxhiu. She was baptized(given a nickname) a day after her birth. Teresa later considered August 27, the she was baptized as her true birthday. She would later adopt the name Mother Teresa where she was honored as Saint Teresa of Calcutta in the Roman Catholic Church. Her father Nicola was a politician and also a successful construction business worker. He was able to cater for his family with all the necessities and hence Teresa did not lack anything as a child. However nothing much was known about her early childhood experience. Teresa was the youngest of her parents three children. Her family was rich enough and was able to conveniently afford to have two houses. When Teresa was about eight years old, she lost her father. Her father’s sudden death left the family in slight financial straits. However, Teresa’s mother started a textile business which helped her to properly take care of the family. All through her childhood Teresa was influenced by her family to get involved with the Church. It was reported that Teresa completed both her elementary and high school education in Church Schools, though some believed she went to a state-run secondary school. She was an active member of the choir, literacy session and the drama session.

Teresa generally loved reading, especially articles about missionary service and life in India. This later influenced her decision to become a missionary nun. Teresa was then encouraged by her mother to help those in need and care about her religion. Teresa’s mother offered clothes, food and other necessary items to the needy people at the church. Such were her contributions that eventually people would say this about Teresa’s family- “Bojaxhiu family had long been known in Skopje for their generosity towards the town’s poor and downtrodden”. When Teresa was 12 years old during one of the annual pilgrimages to the Church of the Black Madonna in Legnica she first experienced a call to the religious life. By 1928, when Teresa was 18 years old, she was moved by a desire to become a missionary and so she joined the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary(sisters of Loreto) in Ireland where the name sister Mary Teresa was given to her. Later that year Teresa departed for India and arrived in Calcutta in January 1929. In 1931 she made her first Profession of Vows(promise made to God) and used to teach at St. Mary’s School for girls. She made her final Profession of Vows in May 1937 which supposedly made her the ‘spouse of Jesus’ for ‘all eternity’. Since then her public name changed from Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu to Mother Teresa. Teresa continued as a teacher at St. Mary’s School for girls and soon became the Principal of the school in 1944. Teresa was a woman of profound prayer and showed immense love for her students and religious sisters. Teresa spent 20 years in Loreto which was filled with intense happiness. She was noted for her courage, unselfishness, charity, hard work and natural talent for organizing.

Categories: Culture and History

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