Mother Theresa is a person who in our recent history that has made a huge difference in the society. She was Roman Catholic nun and a social activist who focused on helping the poor in the city of Calcutta, India. Mother Teresa founded the Order of the Missionaries of Charity which is a Roman Catholic congregation of women dedicated to helping the people of less fortunate. Due to her amazing deeds, she has won many awards throughout her lifetime and is considered one of the 20th Century’s greatest humanitarians. She has made a great impact in the society with her humanitarian acts and has also set a great example for others especially the newer generations to follow.
Mother Teresa was born on August 26, 1919, to parents, Nikolle and Dranafilein Skopje, the capital of Republic of Macedonia. She was the youngest child in her family. She was baptized the following day after she was born as she was named “Agnes Gonxhe Bojaxhiu”. She also received her First Communion when she was five and a half years old. Growing up Mother Teresa was raised in a devoutly Catholic family. Her parents were really religious and were active participants in their local church activities but due to the sudden death of her father when she was eight years old left young Agnes disheartened. Despite facing many financial problems after the death, Mother Teresa’s mother, Dranafile did not compromise on the upbringing of her children and raised them with extreme love and care. This led young Agnes to grow really close to her mother and it was Dranafile’s firm belief and religious attitude that influenced Agnes personality and her future vocation. Dranafile instilled in Agnes a deep commitment to charity, which was later shown through her involvement in the Jesuit parish of the Sacred Heart.Also, at the age of 18, Agnes left her family to become a missionary in India, the Sisters of Loreto. She was then sent to Ireland to learn English because during that time India was ruled by the British. This is where Agnes took her first vows as a nun and changed her name to Sister Mary Teresa. She chose the name Teresa because her favorite saint was Saint Teresa of Lisieux who is a patron saint of missionaries. She began her work as a teacher, however, the widespread poverty of Calcutta made a deep impression leading her to start a new order called “The Missionaries of Charity” and the main objective of this new mission was to look after the people, who nobody else was prepared to look after. This was just the start of the amazing works Sister Teresa will do later on in her life.
There were many extraordinary things she did throughout her life to make the world a better place and she was recognized by many because of it. Since a young age, Mother Teresa decided to devote her life for the good of the society so she started working with the poor. She soon became an Indian citizen and traveled to different parts of India to uplift the oppressed. In 1950, she established the diocesan congregation, which would work for those, who were in desperate for help. The congregation extended far and came to be known as the ‘Missionaries of Charity’, one of the very big organizations with centers all around the world. Later on in her life, she founded the first Home for the Dying in India and she did this by converting an unused Hindu temple into the Kalighat Home for the Dying. A person from all religions, nationality was accepted into Kalighat, where they would receive medical attention and care. Soon, she also opened a home for lepers in Shanti Nagar and in 1955, Mother Teresa went on to open the Nirmala Shishu Bhavan, a home for the orphaned and homeless children. Due to her firm commitment and constant love and compassion that she devoutly shared, she received many awards from many. The Indian Government honored her with Padma Shri, then with Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding and finally Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award. In 1962, she was honored with Ramon Magsaysay Award for International Understanding and this was received for her kind works for the hopeless poor of a foreign land. In 1971, she was awarded the first Pope John XXIII Peace Prize for her work with the poor, display of Christian charity and efforts for peace. Eight years after in 1979, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, for her charitable works which also constitutes a threat to peace. Finally, she was awarded the ‘Medal of Freedom’, the highest US civilian award. All the great accomplishments and awards Mother Teresa received shows how great her contributions were to the society.
Mother Teresa had a great impact on many people all over the world especially people from Calcutta throughout her lifetime. She was really engaged with her charity works and wanted to make a difference in the society. Mother Teresa combined her love and commitment to the poor with her incredible organizational and managerial skills to develop a vast and effective international organization of missionaries which focused on helping the less fortunate around the world. She established a leper colony, an orphanage, a nursing home, a family clinic and a string of mobile health clinics for many in the city of Calcutta and also around the world. Mother Teresa traveled to other countries to render service to the hungry in Ethiopia, radiation victims at Chernobyl, and earthquake victims in Armenia. As she visited different countries over her lifetime, she expressed her hatred towards abortion and contraception and said that all lives are precious and that it’s a sin to kill someone. Many people benefited from her charity works as someone of them was cured of illness, some were able to find a home to stay at, and some were able to get food to eat and clothes to wear. Mother Teresa was also able to inspire many other people with her charitable works as many new charitable organizations were formed and many people wanted to help the less fortunate. This shows you how great of an impact Mother Teresa had on many people around the world.
Mother Teresa’s health first started declining in the 1980s when she suffered a heart attack while visiting Pope John Paul II in Rome in 1983 and this problem continued as she suffered from health issues for the next decade. She had severe cardiac problems which led her to step down as the head of the order on March 13, 1997, and after few months on September 5, Mother Teresa died. Mother Teresa spent her last few days before her death receiving visitors and instructing sisters. Mother Teresa was truly an amazing human being and her legacy still carries on to this day as there have been many orphanages, school, and shelters set up in honor of her humanitarian acts. Also, she has been memorialized and has been made patroness of various churches and there are several road/structures that have been named after Mother Teresa. In 2003, Mother Teresa was beatified by Pope John Paul II at St Peter’s Basilica and since then, she has been known as Blessed Mother Teresa. The Church also designated Blessed Teresa of Calcutta as the patron saint of the World Youth Day. She was then canonized by Pope Francis on September 4, 2016, and is now known as Saint Teresa of Calcutta. From these examples, you can see that Mother Teresa’s legacy still lives on as many people still adores and respects hers for selfless works
In conclusion, Mother Teresa is a person in our recent history that has made a huge difference in our society. She was able to achieve many things over her lifetime and was able to have a huge impact on many people’s lives. Nowadays people are trying to follow her footsteps and help the poor like she did. They can be a part of something special just as Mother Teresa has done and it can even be something small such as donating clothes or volunteering at a soup kitchen etc. If we all put some effort, we can all make a huge difference in our community. Together we can all carry out Mother Teresa’s legacy one step at a time and help those who are less fortunate.