Who is Mother Teresa?
Mary Teresa Bojaxhiu (pronounced [bɔjaˈdʒiu]; 26 August 1910 – 5 September 1997), better known as Mother Teresa (Albanian: Nënë Tereza), was an Albanian-Indian Catholic nun who, in 1950, founded the Missionaries of Charity. Saint Teresa of Calcutta, born Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu (pronounced [aˈɲɛzə ˈɡɔndʒɛ bɔjaˈdʒiu]), was canonised on 4 September 2016. The anniversary of her death, 5 September, is her feast day. After living in her birthplace of Skopje (at the time, part of the Ottoman Empire, but capital of North Macedonia since 1991) for eighteen years, she moved to Ireland and then to India— where she lived for most of her life.
After Mother Teresa founded her religious congregation, it grew to have over 4,500 nuns and was active in 133 countries as of 2012. The congregation manages homes for people who are dying of HIV/AIDS, leprosy, and tuberculosis. The congregation also runs soup kitchens, dispensaries, mobile clinics, children’s and family counselling programmes, as well as orphanages and schools. Members take vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience and also profess a fourth vow: to give “wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor.”
Mother Teresa received several honours, including the 1962 Ramon Magsaysay Peace Prize and the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize. A controversial figure during her life and after her death, Mother Teresa was admired by many for her charitable work. She was praised and criticised on various counts, such as for her views on abortion and contraception, and was criticized for poor conditions in her houses for the dying. Her authorized biography was written by Navin Chawla and published in 1992, and she has been the subject of films and other books. On 6 September 2017, Mother Teresa and Saint Francis Xavier were named co-patrons of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Calcutta.
An interview with her is imbedded below: