Brief History of Mother Teresa
Agnes Gonxha Bejaxhiu who became known as Mother Teresa was born in Skopje, a small town in Albania (Yugoslavia) on 27 August, 1910.
She was an illustratious lady who dedicated herself to the service of suffering humanity. When she was only 18, she came over to India as a teacher of Loreto Convent School at Entally in Kolkata. It was while working there that the conviction was born that her true vocation lay in working among the poor, the sick and the dying.
The suffering and distress of thousands of slum-dwellers touched her heart. She felt the need to go out of confines of the Convent, to the poor, to all those who needed her, and dedicated herself to their service. She became a Kolkatan out and out and started various organizations viz., Nirmal Hriday, Nirmala Sishubhaban, Nirmala Kenndy Centre etc.
Over the year, Mother Teresa built up the order which now has more than 160 centers in India. These include schools, charitable dispensaries, homes for leprosy patients, a TB clinic, homes for unwanted and crippled children and a home for dying destitute.
She and her sisters took dying people off the streets and housed them in Nirmal Hriday, so that they might, if nothing else dies in peace, surrounded by love.
A devout Christian, she was a silent worker and lived a simple life, clad in a white sari with a blue border, a small cross and the Bible in hand.
Honors were showered upon her from all over the world for her selfless and untiring service. Awarded the Bharat Ratna and earlier Padmashri in January 1952, she received the Ramon Magsaysay Award of the Philippines Government in September, the same year. In November, 1972, she won the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1979. Apart from these, the Mother received the Templeton Award (1973), the Albert Schweitzer Award and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award given by the USA. On 8 November, 1992 she received the ‘Bharat Ki Mahan Suputri’ award from Mr. P.V. Narasimha Rao, the then Prime Minister of India.
This apostle of peace and love passed away on September 5, 1997.