Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Unique People Continued

Another of my heroes is Mother Teresa.  What she has given back to this world is incredible.   How did they ever fit such a huge heart in such a little one?

Mother Teresa was born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in Skopje, Macedonia, on August 26, 1910. Her family was of Albanian descent. At the age of twelve, she felt the call of God. She knew she had to be a missionary.  At the age of eighteen she left her parent’s home and joined the Sisters of Loreto, an Irish community of nuns with missions in India. After a few months' training in Dublin she was sent to India, where in 1931, she took her initial vows as a nun. From 1931 to 1948 Mother Teresa taught at St. Mary's High School in Calcutta, but the suffering and poverty she glimpsed outside the convent walls made such a deep impression on her that in 1948 she received permission from her superiors to leave the convent school and devote herself to working among the poorest of the poor in the slums of Calcutta. Although she had no funds, she depended on God to provide and started an open-air school for slum children. Soon she was joined by volunteer helpers, and received financial support and expanded her work.

In 1950, Mother Teresa received permission to start her own order, "The Missionaries of Charity", whose primary task was to love and care for those persons nobody was prepared to look after. In 1965 the Society became an International Religious Family by a decree of Pope Paul VI.  It has grown into branches of sisters and brother in many countries and in 1984 a priest branch was established.
The Society of Missionaries has spread all over the world, including the former Soviet Union and Eastern European countries. They provide effective help to the poorest of the poor in a number of countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, and they undertake relief work in the wake of natural catastrophes such as floods, epidemics, and famine, and for refugees. The order also has houses in North America, Europe and Australia, where they take care of the shut-ins, alcoholics, homeless, and AIDS sufferers.

The Missionaries of Charity throughout the world are aided and assisted by Co-Workers who became an official International Association in 1969. By the 1990s there were over one million Co-Workers in more than 40 countries. Along with the Co-Workers, the lay Missionaries of Charity try to follow Mother Teresa's spirit.

Mother Teresa's work has been recognized and acclaimed throughout the world and she has received a number of awards and distinctions including the Noble Peace prize in 1979.  A tiny woman from very humble beginning has changed the life of so many.   She left this earth on God’s arm in 1997.  The Church is now considering her for sainthood.   Amazing what one small woman did in her life time!  She inspires me to want to make this world a better place.

No comments:

Post a Comment