Mother Teresa birth anniversary: As tributes pour in, here’s more on the saint
- Mother Teresa, baptised Gonxha Agnes, was born in Skopje, present day capital of Macedonia, to Nikola and Drana Bojaxhiu. She was the youngest child in a Kosovar Albanian family.
Mother Teresa, also known as Saint Teresa of Calcutta, was born on August 26, 1910. This year marked the peace Nobel laureate’s 111th birth anniversary.
On the occasion, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal reflected on the time he spent working with the founder of the Missionaries of Charity. “After working for Tata Steel, I volunteered at Mother Teresa's ashram in Kalighat. It was a spiritual experience that inspired me to be in service of humanity for life. On her birth anniversary, I join the millions whose lives she touched to remember her,” Kejriwal wrote on Thursday.
In his tribute, Union minister Hardeep Puri said she dedicated her life to the service of humanity. "Remembering Bharat Ratna & Nobel Laureate Mother Teresa Ji on her birth anniversary. She established ‘Nirmal Hriday’ & dedicated her life to the service of humanity," the minister said on Twitter.
Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot too took to Twitter to commemorate the occasion. "Humble tributes to #MotherTeresa on her birth anniversary. Her life was dedicated to serving the poor, destitute and sick. Her compassion and selfless service for the welfare of mankind shall always remain an inspiration," Gehlot tweeted.
Here’s more on the Catholic nun who worked tirelessly for the country’s poor.
Teresa, baptised Gonxha Agnes, was born in Skopje, present day capital of Macedonia, to Nikola and Drana Bojaxhiu. She was the youngest child in a Kosovar Albanian family. Her father died when she was eight and her mother raised the children in his absence.
A winner of multiple honours, including the Ramon Magsaysay Peace Prize, Teresa left home at the age of 18 to join the Sisters of Loreto at Loreto Abbey in Rathfarnham, Ireland, intent on joining the missionary. There she was given the name Sister Mary Teresa after St. Thérèse de Lisieux. She arrived in the then Calcutta in 1929 and was assigned to the Loreto Entally community where she taught at St. Mary’s School for girls, according to data available at the Mother Teresa of Calcutta centre.
On September 10, 1946, during a train ride from Calcutta to Darjeeling for her annual retreat, Teresa received her “inspiration ,” her “call within a call”.
“On that day, in a way she would never explain, Jesus’ thirst for love and for souls took hold of her heart and the desire to satiate His thirst became the driving force of her life,” the centre’s database read.
Teresa answered the call in 1948 and began working with the poor. She also spent some time at the Medical Mission Sisters in Patna to receive basic medical training. In 1950, Teresa received permission from the Vatican for the diocesan congregation, which would later become the Missionaries of Charity. She envisioned that it would care for "the hungry, the naked, the homeless, the crippled, the blind, the lepers, all those people who feel unwanted, unloved, uncared for throughout society, people that have become a burden to the society and are shunned by everyone."
She passed away on September 5, 1997, her feast day, and beatified on October 19, 2002. Despite certain controversies, Teresa was admired globally for her charitable work. She was accorded a state funeral by the government of India for her service to the poor irrespective of religion.