MOTHER TERESA (Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu)

``.From a Nun to Recipient of Nobel Peace Prize``

Mother Teresa was born on 26 August, 1910 in Skopje, Yogoslavia to Albanian parents - a grocer and his wife. As a public school student, she developed a special interest in overseas missions and, by age 12, realized her vocation was aiding the poor. In 1928, she decided to become a nun and hence joined the Sisters of Loreto in Dublin, Ireland. She was inspired to work in India by reports sent home from Jesuit missionaries in Bengal.

A year later she was assigned a teaching job at St. Mary`s High School, Calcutta. She was 19. At that young age in Calcutta, she found the streets filled with beggars, lepers, homeless and dumped with unwanted infants. This experience left a profound impact on her and in 1946, her life changed forever. After falling ill with suspected tuberculosis, she was sent to the town of Darjeeling to recover. `It was in the train, I heard the call to give up all and follow Him to the slums to serve Him among the poorest of the poor,` She remembered. After taking a medical training course to prepare for her new mission, she went into the slums of Calcutta to start a school for children. They called her `Mother Teresa.` Two years later, Pope Pius XII granted permission for her to leave her order. She started the Missionaries of Charity in 1948 after receiving permission from the Pope to serve as an independent nun. Her initial efforts were focused on poor street children. In the mid-1950s, she established a leper colony near Asansol and homes for the dying were also started. Soon the activities of the Missionaries of Charity were expanded within and outside India.

A tiny yet energetic figure, she won worldwide recognition for her work and received numerous honours, the most significant being the Nobel Peace Prize for the year 1979. She herself seemed little changed despite the attention she received and tried` to deflect all attention away to` either` the works of her group or to the god who was her inspiration. `The other day I dreamed that I was at the gates of heaven`.And St. Peter said, `Go back to Earth, there are no slump up here.` `These words, once spoken by Mother Teresa, vividly recall the life of the late Roman Catholic nun and missionary known as `the Saint of the Gutters.` For Mother Teresa, who devoted her life to the succour of the sick and the outcast, earthly sufferers were nothing less than Christ in `distressing disguise.`

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