A Short Biography
Mother Teresa, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, died on September 5, 1997, in her convent in India. She was 87. Born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in 1910 in Skopje, Yugoslavia, she joined the Sisters of Loreto in 1928. She took the name "Teresa" after St. Teresa of Lisieux, patroness of the Missionaries.
In 1948, she came across a half-dead woman lying in front of a Calcutta hospital. She stayed with the woman until she died. From that point on, she dedicated the majority of her life to helping the poorest of the poor in India, thus gaining her the name "Saint of the Gutters." She founded an order of nuns called the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, India dedicated to serving the poor. Almost 50 years later, the Missionaries of Charity have grown from 12 sisters in India to over 3,000 in 517 missions throughout 100 countries worldwide.
In 1952, she founded the Nirmal Hriday Home for the Dying in a former temple in Calcutta. It was there that they would care for the dying Indians that were found on the streets. Mother would see Jesus in everyone that she met. It didn´t matter whether they were dying of AIDS or Leprosy. She wanted them to be able to die in peace and with dignity. For over 50 years, she worked selflessly helping the poor. That devotion towards the poor won her respect throughout the world and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.
Over the last two decades, Mother had suffered from heart problems. She suffered a heart attack during a 1983 visit with Pope John Paul II. She suffered another, and more serious, heart attack in 1989. It was then that a pacemaker was installed. Just last year, she suffered from malaria and was treated for a chest infection.
Mother Teresa was a living saint and she will be greatly missed. Eternal rest grant unto her Lord, and may Perpetual light shine upon her. May she rest in peace. Amen.
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