Special prayers were held at the headquarters of the Missionaries of Charity at Kolkata (Calcutta) (West Bengal, India) on the occasion of the 102nd birth anniversary of Mother Teresa.
"On the 102nd birth anniversary of Mother Teresa, I respectfully bow my head to pay my love and gratitude to the great soul. She lived a life of dedication, devotion and loving care to serve the poor and terminally ill who have no support to look for. They have nothing to offer, but Mother showed the world that those helpless and distressed are creatures of God and they can return love and affection to all. Let us strive to put smiles on the faces of the poor and needy people of the country. That will be the most befitting tribute to Mother Teresa," West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banarjee said.
Superior General of Missionaries of Charity, Sister Prema, said that we should follow the teachings of Mother and spread the message of love and compassion.
About Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa was born as Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu on August 26, 1910 in Skopje, (Albania/Republic of Macedonia). But Mother Teresa considered 27 August, the day she was baptized, to be her "true birthday".
Agnes left home at age 18 to join the Sisters of Loreto in Ireland, as a missionary. There she received the name Sister Mary Teresa. She never again saw her mother or sister.
Mother Teresa arrived in India in 1929, and started working as Loreto convent School Teacher in Calcutta. Teresa served there for almost twenty years.
Although Teresa enjoyed teaching at the school, she was increasingly disturbed by the poverty surrounding her in Calcutta
She began her missionary work with the poor in 1948, replacing her traditional Loreto habit with a simple white cotton sari decorated with a blue border.
Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic religious congregation in 1950 as small order with 13 members. Now it is having over 4,500 sisters and is active in 133 countries. Members of the order must adhere to the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience, and the fourth vow, to give "Wholehearted and Free service to the poorest of the poor". The Missionaries of Charity at the time of her death had 610 missions in 123 countries including hospices and homes for people with HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis, soup kitchens, children's and family counselling programmes, orphanages and schools.
Mother Teresa Said, "By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the Heart of Jesus." [Source - Vatican News]
In late 2003, Mother Teresa was beatified to give her the title "Blessed Teresa of Calcutta". It is the third step toward possible sainthood.
Mother Teresa was very fluent in speaking Bengali, the local language of the people of Calcutta (Kolkata).
Mother Teresa was the recipient of numerous honours including the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize. She received India's highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna, in both 1972 and 1980.
Mother Teresa stated that earthly rewards were important only if they helped her help the world's needy. When Mother Teresa received the Nobel Peace Prize, she was asked, "What can we do to promote world peace?" She answered "Go home and love your family." In her Nobel Lecture, she said: "Around the world, not only in the poor countries, but I found the poverty of the West so much more difficult to remove. When I pick up a person from the street, hungry, I give him a plate of rice, a piece of bread, I have satisfied. I have removed that hunger. But a person that is shut out, that feels unwanted, unloved, terrified, the person that has been thrown out from society—that poverty is so hurtable and so much, and I find that very difficult." She also singled out abortion as 'the greatest destroyer of peace in the world'.
We can read more Quotes of Mothere Teresa here.
Her official biography was authored by the former Indian chief election commissioner, Navin Chawla, and published in 1992.
Mother Teresa kept the inspiring poem "Do it Anyway" at walls of the children Home.
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