Mother Teresa

Saint Teresa of Calcutta
Mother Teresa MC
MotherTeresa 094.jpg
Mother Teresa at a pro-life meeting
in 1986 in Bonn, West Germany
Consecrated religious, nun
BornAnjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu
(1910-08-26)26 August 1910
Üsküp, Kosovo Vilayet, Ottoman Empire
(present-day Skopje, Republic of Macedonia)
Died5 September 1997(1997-09-05) (aged 87)
Calcutta, West Bengal, India (present-day Kolkata)
Venerated inRoman Catholic Church
Beatified19 October 2003, Saint Peter's Square, Vatican City by Pope John Paul II
Canonized4 September 2016, Saint Peter's Square, Vatican City by Pope Francis
Major shrineMother House of the Missionaries of Charity, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Feast5 September[1]
Attributes
Patronage
Mother Teresa
TitleSuperior general
Personal
ReligionRoman Catholicism
NationalityOttoman subject (1910–1912)
Serbian subject (1912–1915)
Bulgarian subject (1915–1918)
Yugoslavian subject (1918–1943)
Yugoslavian citizen (1943–1948)
Indian subject (1948–1950)
Indian citizen[4] (1950–1997)
Albanian citizen[5] (1991–1997)
United States, honorary citizenship (awarded 1996)
SignatureSignature of Mother Teresa
InstituteSisters of Loreto
(1928–1948)
Missionaries of Charity
(1950–1997)
Senior posting
Period in office1950–1997
SuccessorSr. Nirmala Joshi, MC

Mother Teresa, known in the Roman Catholic Church as Saint Teresa of Calcutta[6] (born Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu, Albanian: [aˈɲɛzə ˈɡɔndʒɛ bɔjaˈdʒiu]; 26 August 1910 – 5 September 1997), was an Albanian-Indian[4] Roman Catholic nun and missionary.[7] She was born in Skopje (now the capital of Macedonia), then part of the Kosovo Vilayet of the Ottoman Empire. After living in Macedonia for eighteen years she moved to Ireland and then to India, where she lived for most of her life.

In 1950 Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic religious congregation which had over 4,500 sisters and was active in 133 countries in 2012. The congregation manages homes for people dying of HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis; soup kitchens; dispensaries and mobile clinics; children's- and family-counselling programmes; orphanages, and schools. Members, who take vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience, also profess a fourth vow: to give "wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor".[8]

Teresa received a number of honours, including the 1962 Ramon Magsaysay Peace Prize and 1979 Nobel Peace Prize. She was canonised (recognised by the church as a saint) on 4 September 2016, and the anniversary of her death (5 September) is her feast day.

A controversial figure during her life and after her death, Teresa was admired by many for her charitable work. She was praised and criticised for her opposition to abortion, and criticised for poor conditions in her houses for the dying. Her authorised biography was written by Navin Chawla and published in 1992, and she has been the subject of films and other books. On September 6, 2017, Teresa was named co-patron of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Calcutta, alongside St. Francis Xavier.

Early life

Urban stone-and-glass building
Memorial House of Mother Teresa in her native Skopje

Teresa was born Anjezë Gonxhe (or Gonxha)[9] Bojaxhiu (Albanian: [aˈɲɛzə ˈɡɔndʒɛ bɔjaˈdʒiu]; Anjezë is a cognate of "Agnes"; Gonxhe means "rosebud" or "little flower" in Albanian) on 26 August 1910 into a Kosovar Albanian family[10][11][12] in Skopje (now the capital of the Republic of Macedonia), Ottoman Empire.[13][14] She was baptized in Skopje, the day after her birth.[9] She later considered 27 August, the day she was baptised, her "true birthday".[13]

She was the youngest child of Nikollë and Dranafile Bojaxhiu (Bernai).[15] Her father, who was involved in Albanian-community politics in Macedonia, died in 1919 when she was eight years old.[13][16] He may have been from Prizren, Kosovo, and her mother may have been from a village near Gjakova.[17]

According to a biography by Joan Graff Clucas, during her early years Teresa was fascinated by stories of the lives of missionaries and their service in Bengal; by age 12, she was convinced that she should commit herself to religious life.[18] Her resolve strengthened on 15 August 1928 as she prayed at the shrine of the Black Madonna of Vitina-Letnice, where she often went on pilgrimages.[19]

Teresa left home in 1928 at age 18 to join the Sisters of Loreto at Loreto Abbey in Rathfarnham, Ireland, to learn English with the view of becoming a missionary; English was the language of instruction of the Sisters of Loreto in India.[20] She never saw her mother or her sister again.[21] Her family lived in Skopje until 1934, when they moved to Tirana.[22]

She arrived in India in 1929[23] and began her novitiate in Darjeeling, in the lower Himalayas,[24] where she learnt Bengali and taught at St. Teresa's School near her convent.[25] Teresa took her first religious vows on 24 May 1931. She chose to be named after Thérèse de Lisieux, the patron saint of missionaries;[26][27] because a nun in the convent had already chosen that name, Agnes opted for its Spanish spelling (Teresa).[28]

Teresa took her solemn vows on 14 May 1937 while she was a teacher at the Loreto convent school in Entally, eastern Calcutta.[13][29][30] She served there for nearly twenty years, and was appointed its headmistress in 1944.[31] Although Teresa enjoyed teaching at the school, she was increasingly disturbed by the poverty surrounding her in Calcutta.[32] The Bengal famine of 1943 brought misery and death to the city, and the August 1946 Direct Action Day began a period of Muslim-Hindu violence.[33]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Moeder Teresa
Alemannisch: Mutter Teresa
አማርኛ: እምዬ ቴሬሳ
العربية: الأم تريزا
armãneashti: Dada Thereza
অসমীয়া: মাদাৰ টেৰেছা
Avañe'ẽ: Teresa de Calcuta
Aymar aru: Tayka Teresa
azərbaycanca: Tereza Ana
تۆرکجه: ترزا آنا
Bân-lâm-gú: Teresa Siu-lú
башҡортса: Тереза Әсә
беларуская: Маці Тэрэза
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Маці Тэрэза
भोजपुरी: मदर टेरेसा
Bikol Central: Inang Teresa
български: Майка Тереза
bosanski: Majka Tereza
brezhoneg: Mamm Tereza
Cebuano: Inahan Teresa
čeština: Matka Tereza
Chavacano de Zamboanga: Madre Teresa
Cymraeg: Y Fam Teresa
davvisámegiella: Eadni Teresa
Deutsch: Mutter Teresa
डोटेली: मदर टेरेसा
eesti: Ema Teresa
Ελληνικά: Μητέρα Τερέζα
Esperanto: Patrino Teresa
فارسی: مادر ترزا
Fiji Hindi: Mother Teresa
føroyskt: Móður Teresa
français: Mère Teresa
Frysk: Mem Teresa
贛語: 德蘭修女
ગુજરાતી: મધર ટેરેસા
गोंयची कोंकणी / Gõychi Konknni: Mother Teresa
한국어: 테레사 수녀
հայերեն: Մայր Թերեզա
हिन्दी: मदर टेरेसा
hrvatski: Majka Tereza
Bahasa Indonesia: Bunda Teresa
íslenska: Móðir Teresa
עברית: האם תרזה
Basa Jawa: Ibu Teresa
Kabɩyɛ: Mère Teresa
ქართული: დედა ტერეზა
қазақша: Тереза ана
Kiswahili: Mama Teresa
kurdî: Mader Teresa
Кыргызча: Тереза эне
latviešu: Māte Terēze
Lëtzebuergesch: Mutter Teresa
lietuvių: Motina Teresė
lumbaart: Mader Teresa
मैथिली: मदर टेरेसा
македонски: Мајка Тереза
Malagasy: Mère Teresa
മലയാളം: മദർ തെരേസ
მარგალური: დიდა ტერეზა
Bahasa Melayu: Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu
монгол: Тереза эх
မြန်မာဘာသာ: မာသာ ထရီဆာ
Nederlands: Moeder Teresa
नेपाली: मदर टेरेसा
norsk nynorsk: Mor Teresa
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਮਦਰ ਟਰੇਸਾ
پنجابی: مدر ٹریزا
română: Maica Tereza
русский: Мать Тереза
саха тыла: Ийэ Тереза
ᱥᱟᱱᱛᱟᱲᱤ: ᱢᱚᱫᱚᱨ ᱴᱮᱨᱮᱥᱟ
संस्कृतम्: मदर् तेरेसा
Simple English: Mother Teresa
slovenčina: Matka Tereza
slovenščina: Mati Terezija
српски / srpski: Мајка Тереза
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Majka Tereza
svenska: Moder Teresa
Tagalog: Madre Teresa
татарча/tatarça: Тереза Ана
Türkçe: Rahibe Teresa
українська: Мати Тереза
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: تېرېسا ئانا
vèneto: Mare Terexa
Tiếng Việt: Mẹ Têrêsa
Winaray: Nanay Teresa
粵語: 德蘭修女
Zazaki: Maye Tereza
žemaitėška: Muotėna Teresė