Mother Teresa

Biography

Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu was born in Skopje, present-day Macedonia on 26th August, 1910. Deciding early on that she wanted to serve Jesus, she left her family behind to join the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary and took the name Teresa after her patron saint, Thérèse de Lisieux. In 1946, then a geography teacher and principal at the Loreto Convent School, Calcutta, Teresa first heard the voice of God—what she would later refer to as her Inspiration Day—and it became the driving force behind her selfless dedication to the poorest of the poor. When she received permission to begin her work, Mother Teresa donned the iconic blue-bordered sari and entered the slums, rosary in hand, to find and serve Jesus in the unwanted, the unloved and the uncared for.

Highlights from Mother Teresa’s life

1910-2

1910

Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiuis born on August 26th in Skopje (present day Macedonia).

 

1928

Leaves home to join the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (a religious order better known as the Sisters of Loreto) where she is soon sent to India.

1928
 
1946

1946

Inspiration Day. Hears the voice of God commanding her to leave her job as a teacher and bring His light into the homes of the poorest of the poor.

 

1950

Receives permission from the Vatican to establish her congregation, the Missionaries of Charity and begin her work in the slums of Calcutta.

1950
 
1952

1952

Establishes Nirmal Hriday, a home for the dying.

 

1955

Sets up Shishu Bhavan, her first home for abandoned and handicapped children.

1955
 
1957

1957

Begins her work for the lepers with a mobile clinic that travels from one area to another. Later, she will establish permanent clinics and then begin a leper colony in Shantinagar.

 

1962

Awarded one of India's highest honours, the Padma Shri for distinguished service. Over the years, she will use the money received to open up new homes around the world.

1962
 
1965

1965

The Missionaries of Charity become a Society of Pontifical Right. Mother Teresa opens her first house outside India in Venezuela.

 

1979

Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize after being nominated in 1972, 1975 and 1977. Accepts the prize money on behalf of the poor.

1979
 
1985

1985

Establishes the first of many AIDS ministries.

 

1991-1996

Health deteriorates. Has to be hospitalized because of heart disease, bacterial pneumonia and malaria, among other reasons.

1991-1996
 
1997

1997

Steps down as head of the order. Replaced by Sister Nirmala. 6 months later, passes away from heart complications.

 

2003

After waiving the 5-year waiting period before the canonization process, Pope John Paul II beatifies Mother Teresa.

2003
 
2010

2010

The Centenary. The Zariya Foundation plans a charity tribute film.

 

2016

Canonization of Mother Teresa by Pope Francis.