Mother Teresa of Calcutta
My name is Greg Kapitan. While shopping on 8/29/2016 at a home improvement store in the U.S. my eyes were caught by the cover image on Time Magazine of Mother Teresa. At this time. It crossed my mind that I only knew some very basic information about her and found myself quickly grabbing two copies, a copy for myself and one for my 93 year old mother. Unknown at the moment that this was the beginning of my discovering so much amazing information about this inspiring woman so much so that it motivated me to write about her, her life and inspiring works. Learning about her has additionally propelled me to rethink how I personally view others, the poor, the needy and even all people of this earth.
Regardless as to whether your consider yourself religious, spiritual or otherwise, much of the world today has heard of or knows something of Mother Teresa. Without a doubt, this is a person who has touched the lives and inspired countless many across the globe. Her compassion for caring for the poor, sick and afflicted drew worldwide attention to this amazing woman.
The Starving In India Alone By The Numbers & Photos
I was so blown away when I learned about how many people in the millions are starving in India alone. One third of the world’s hungry live in India. India itself, 3,000 children die everyday due to malnutrition! Over 7,000 Indians die of hunger every day. 50 percent of Indian children are underweight and more than 70 percent of the women and children with serious nutritional deficiencies such as anemia and other ailments. Unlike the U.S., the United States actually has a quite well-developed welfare state. Even the poorest Americans do not starve to death involuntarily. Charities, churches, food banks, social-assistance payments etc…. as there are many. The grinding poverty that some Americans live in, though, can be quite shocking it true, however they are not starving to death.
Mother Teresa bowed down before those who were spent, left to die on the side of the road, seeing in them their God-given dignity. She made her voice heard before the powers of the world so that they might recognize their guilt for the crimes of poverty they themselves created. She made her voice heard and spoke for all that could not!
Hero or Celebrity?
As we all know, there is a huge difference between a hero and celebrity. A celebrity is typically one who is self-motivated, of self interest and most often for their own personal gain and interested in promoting themselves. In contrast, Mother Teresa is one who gave truly from the heart, wanting nothing in return and a sincere desire for others to feel better, she would do what she could to help improve their situations. Mother Teresa’s life was a life of sacrifice she chose for the benefit of others. Her motivation was clearly one of a true hero, a modern day saint who has inspired people from around the globe. Her life story has motivated us here at Oneness Love to write about her inspiring and selfless life to the service of others.
Her Life Principle, One Devoid of Ego and Full of Service
All of us have, in one way or another, a life-guiding principle which governs what we do or this may be called a life purpose. Mother Teresa was no different than any of us with her life guiding principle being: “The more you care about the powerless, the more power you have. The more you serve those with no influence, the more influence God gives you. The more you humble yourself, the more your are honored by others”.
These statements became Mother Teresa’s life work and passion. They describe her at the very core of her person. She lived her life without the ego’s control and she only sought to serve others, which can be witnessed in her truly inspiring life works. She had no criteria for whom she helped and she never told anyone, I will care for you, but only if you are or become a Christian, instead she offered the unconditional love that Jesus exemplified to anyone and everyone who was in need.
Seeing the Face of Jesus in Everyone
Mother Teresa had a saying which we should all consider, “I see the face of Jesus in the poor and I do it for him”. She would often be found on the streets of Calcutta in a place where so many folks would pretend not to see the orphans, the many children without family, the sick and the those who were dying without dignity and love. She spent her time caring for them and then after some time, a home was founded by her, in which others called, “Mother Teresa of Calcutta Center“.
Inspiration for All of Us
As we are writing this post, it is our intention that the life story of Mother Teresa will inspire you as much as it has inspired us. When another human being chooses to do something so wonderful, heartfelt and giving, it can often inspire, motivate and help others to realize their own goodness as we all find ourselves drawn to wanting to do something wonderful ourselves in some way or another.
In the Bible, Mark 8:35, Jesus offers an example of how we should view others. He is quoted as saying, “if you insist on saving your life, you will lose it. Only those who throw away their lives for my sake and the sake of the good news will ever know what it means really live”. Mother Teresa gave her life for the sake of others, this type of goodness in one person, has the power to inspire many! May her story inspire us all to contribute to the goodness and welfare of others!
In The Beginning
Mother Teresa was was born Agnes Gonxha (pictured in this image) on August 26th 1910, in Skopje, Macedonia. Agues (Teresa’s) parents, Nikola and Dranafile Bojaxhiu, were of Albanian nationality. Her father was an entrepreneur who worked as a construction contractor as well as a trader of medicines and other goods which were sold or traded being part of a clan of merchants. They were a Catholic family with strong religious values. They lived in the town of Skopje and were known for their generosity and the family owned a spacious home with many fruit-bearing trees. Her father had a strong political influence in their community which had much strife between Muslims and Christians. The family maintained a spirit of generosity and tolerance towards other faiths.
In 1919, when her father passed away, Agnes became ever closer to her mother who was a most compassionate woman and instilled within her daughter, a deep commitment to charity. Certainly this setting must have played a role in inspiring the young woman on her path to charitable greatness in her role as Mother Teresa.
Missionaries of Charity
Mother Teresa seeing the need to to set up an organization establishes the Missionaries of Charity. They began as a group of 10 sisters in Calcutta India in the year of 1950. Their motive is to serve the hungry, homeless, naked, lepers and the unwanted that were so many in that country. In addition to the sisters of the Missionaries of Charity, there is also the same order for brothers. These were then followed by additional sects called the Contemplative Sisters, Brothers and then the Fathers.
In 1997 there were 3,914 sisters and 363 brothers serving the poor. Today, in 2016, there are 5,161 sisters and 416 brothers. The orders are now in 139 countries, compared to the 120 countries in 1997. Thus, they have also added 164 houses to their mission over the years, currently at 758. The Missionaries of Charity continue to grow in numbers.
Mother Teresa and Princess Diana Meet
Being that Princess Diana and Mother Teresa both had such a heart and love of the poor, it was destiny that they were to eventually meet in the Bronx New York, NY on June 18, 1997. Princess Diana called it “a fulfillment of a lifelong dream”. Later, when Diana passed away from a terrible car crash, Mother Teresa sent out a message about her, “She was very concerned for the poor. She was very anxious to do something for them. That is why she was close to me,” which ended up being the last public message Mother Teresa shared with the world.
Both Diana and Mother Teresa met with an instant connection as they were both humanitarians and cared for the poor and sick. It was most unexpected for them to both passed away within a week of one another. Diana, on August 31st 1997 followed by Mother Teresa’s whose heart gave out on the 5th of September 1997. It is interesting to note that the Mother Teresa’s last public statement (above) had been about Diana’s love for the poor.
One can not help but think about the two of these great woman passing on within days of each other. As humans we cannot help but wonder if something else is at work here that maybe we cannot see but we can sense? Why did these two amazing women pass on in just five days of one another with their both having such an intense compassion and drive to help others. This is something many of us will certainly ponder for some time. Heaven must have needed these two angels.
The Canonization of Mother Teresa
With her legacy of selfless giving and service, Mother Teresa will be Canonized by the Catholic Church September 4th 2016 which means she will be declared a Saint.
Timeline & Accomplishments
- 1910 Born in August 26th her name of Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu. Gonxha her middle name means “little flower” in Albanian
- 1928 Leaves home to join the Sisters of Loreto based in Ireland. It is then then took on a new name Teresa. She chose it out of her admiration for Saint Therese of Lisieux. The 19th century Carmelite nun who pioneered the “little way” that was doing small things with great love for God
- 1029 – 1948 Teaches at the school in Calcutta where she becomes headmistress
- August 1946 Views the carnage and brutality of Hindu-Muslim rioting in Calcutta that was to later become the division between India and Pakistan
- September 1946 While on a trip has a Vision of Christ urging her to create a ministry to help and live amongst the poorest of the poor
- 1948 Receives permission from Pope Pius XXI to pursue her ministry among the sick, afflicted and the poor
- 1950 Gets permission for the Vatican to start the Missionaries of Charity. The Missionaries of Charity today is over 4,500 Sisters carrying out her mission of selfless helping the poorest of the poor, the aged, refugees, mentally ill, those suffering from AIDS and more
- 1952 Creates her first her first home for the Dying “Nirmal Hriday” in Calcutta
- 1955 Creates her first home for Orphans also established in Calcutta
- 1957 Now working with lepers
- 1965 Missionaries of Charity builds it first mission shelter outside of India in Venezuela
- 1969 Mother Teresa gains media attention that propels her into worldwide fame by a book and television documentary by journalist Malcolm Muggeridge and makes the cover of Time
- 1979 Mother Teresa is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
- 1983 When visiting Pope John Paul 111, she experienced her first heart attack
- 1985 Establishes the very first of what will in latter years become one of many AIDS ministries
- 1992 She is introduced and latter and becomes friends with Princess Diana of Britain
- March 1997 Due to increasingly poor health, she steps down as the head of the Missionaries of Charity the hoe that she established
- September 5th 1997 Mother Teresa passed away. She is buried at the Mother House in Calcutta
- 1998 The Vatican waves the five your perriod after someone passaway to be considered for sainthood
- 2002 The Catholic Church recognizes the first miracle attributed to Mother Teresa and her works – 1998 cure of a tumor suffered by Monica Besra
- 2003 Over 250,000 people go through Saint Peter’s Square in Rome to celebrate beatification that is the final step before she is canonized by the church
- 2007 The publication of “Come By My Light” A collection of her letters reveals her struggle to belive in Christ and God due to seeing so much suffering in the world that she served
- 2010 U.S. Postal Service issues a Mother Teresa stamp in honor of her life long service and selfless commitment to others
- 2016 Pope Francis names Mother Theresa for Canonization
- September 4th 2016 Mother Teresa Receives Canonization
Simple mortal words can not describe the totality of what this beautiful humanitarian has done for mankind. There is no doubt that this one person of short stature has done many of great works to help others in need. In her words…”I do it for Jesus”. May we all grow from Mother Teresa’s example and shed the light of unconditional Christ Like love. Thank you for all of us at OnenessLove.