69 Facts About Mother Teresa


Mary Teresa Bojaxhiu, MC, better known as Mother Teresa, was an Albanian-Indian Catholic nun and the founder of the Missionaries of Charity.


Mother Teresa was born Anjeze Gonxhe Bojaxhiu in Skopje, part of the Ottoman Empire at the time.


Mother Teresa founded Missionaries of Charity, a religious congregation, which grew to have over 4,500 nuns across 133 countries as of 2012.


Mother Teresa received several honours, including the 1962 Ramon Magsaysay Peace Prize and the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize.


Mother Teresa's authorised biography, written by Navin Chawla, was published in 1992, and she has been the subject of many other works.


Mother Teresa was born on 26 August 1910 into a Kosovar Albanian family in Skopje, Ottoman Empire.


Mother Teresa was baptised in Skopje the day after her birth.


Mother Teresa was the youngest child of Nikolle and Dranafile Bojaxhiu.


Mother Teresa was born in Prizren his family was from Mirdita.


Mother Teresa's resolve strengthened on 15 August 1928 as she prayed at the shrine of the Black Madonna of Vitina-Letnice, where she often went on pilgrimages.


Mother Teresa saw neither her mother nor her sister again.


Mother Teresa's family lived in Skopje until 1934, when they moved to Tirana.


Mother Teresa arrived in India in 1929 and began her novitiate in Darjeeling, in the lower Himalayas, where she learned Bengali and taught at St Teresa's School near her convent.


Mother Teresa took her first religious vows on 24 May 1931.


Mother Teresa chose to be named after Therese de Lisieux, the patron saint of missionaries; because a nun in the convent had already chosen that name, she opted for its Spanish spelling of Teresa.


Mother Teresa served there for nearly twenty years and was appointed its headmistress in 1944.


In 1946, during a visit to Darjeeling by train, Mother Teresa felt that she heard the call of her inner conscience to serve the poor of India for Jesus.


Mother Teresa asked for and received permission to leave the school.


On 10 September 1946, Mother Teresa experienced what she later described as "the call within the call" when she travelled by train to the Loreto convent in Darjeeling from Calcutta for her annual retreat.


Mother Teresa began missionary work with the poor in 1948, replacing her traditional Loreto habit with a simple, white cotton sari with a blue border.


Mother Teresa adopted Indian citizenship, spent several months in Patna to receive basic medical training at Holy Family Hospital and ventured into the slums.


Mother Teresa founded a school in Motijhil, Calcutta, before she began tending to the poor and hungry.


At the beginning of 1949, Mother Teresa was joined in her effort by a group of young women, and she laid the foundation for a new religious community helping the "poorest among the poor".


Mother Teresa wrote in her diary that her first year was fraught with difficulty.


On 7 October 1950, Mother Teresa received Vatican permission for the diocesan congregation, which would become the Missionaries of Charity.


In 1952, Mother Teresa opened her first hospice with help from Calcutta officials.


Mother Teresa converted an abandoned Hindu temple into the Kalighat Home for the Dying, free for the poor, and renamed it Kalighat, the Home of the Pure Heart.


Mother Teresa opened a hospice for those with leprosy, calling it Shanti Nagar.


The Missionaries of Charity took in an increasing number of homeless children; in 1955, Mother Teresa opened Nirmala Shishu Bhavan, the Children's Home of the Immaculate Heart, as a haven for orphans and homeless youth.


Mother Teresa then expanded the congregation abroad, opening a house in Venezuela in 1965 with five sisters.


At the height of the Siege of Beirut in 1982, Mother Teresa rescued 37 children trapped in a front-line hospital by brokering a temporary cease-fire between the Israeli army and Palestinian guerrillas.


When Eastern Europe experienced increased openness in the late 1980s, Mother Teresa expanded her efforts to Communist countries which had rejected the Missionaries of Charity.


Mother Teresa travelled to assist the hungry in Ethiopia, radiation victims at Chernobyl and earthquake victims in Armenia.


Mother Teresa had a heart attack in Rome in 1983 while she was visiting Pope John Paul II.


On 13 March 1997, Mother Teresa resigned as head of the Missionaries of Charity.


Mother Teresa lay in repose in an open casket in St Thomas, Calcutta, for a week before her funeral.


Mother Teresa received a state funeral from the Indian government in gratitude for her service to the poor of all religions in the country.


Mother Teresa's death was mourned in the secular and religious communities.


Mother Teresa received the Padma Shri in 1962 and the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding in 1969.


Mother Teresa later received other Indian awards, including the Bharat Ratna in 1980.


Mother Teresa's research, involving more than 100 interviews with volunteers, nuns and others familiar with the Missionaries of Charity, was described in a 2003 book critical of Mother Teresa.


In February 2015 Mohan Bhagwat, leader of the Hindu right-wing organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, said that Mother Teresa's objective was "to convert the person, who was being served, into a Christian".


Mother Teresa received the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Peace and International Understanding, given for work in South or East Asia, in 1962.


Mother Teresa had been catapulted to fame via Malcolm Muggeridge's 1969 BBC documentary, Something Beautiful for God, before he released a 1971 book of the same name.


Mother Teresa received the Pacem in Terris Award in 1976.


Mother Teresa was honoured by governments and civilian organisations and appointed an honorary Companion of the Order of Australia in 1982 "for service to the community of Australia and humanity at large".


Mother Teresa was criticised for implicitly supporting the Duvaliers and corrupt businessmen such as Charles Keating and Robert Maxwell; she wrote to the judge of Keating's trial requesting clemency.


Mother Teresa challenged an audience of 4,500 to "know poor people in your own home and local neighbourhood", feeding others or simply spreading joy and love.


Mother Teresa continued: "The poor will help us grow in sanctity, for they are Christ in the guise of distress".


Mother Teresa spoke to over 4,000 students and members of the Diocese of Scranton about her service to the "poorest of the poor", telling them to "do small things with great love".


Mother Teresa was first in all major demographic categories except the very young.


In 1979, Mother Teresa received the Nobel Peace Prize "for work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which constitutes a threat to peace".


Mother Teresa refused the conventional ceremonial banquet for laureates, asking that its $192,000 cost be given to the poor in India and saying that earthly rewards were important only if they helped her to help the world's needy.


Mother Teresa said that suffering was a gift from God.


Mother Teresa spent her life opposing the only known cure for poverty, which is the empowerment of women and the emancipation of them from a livestock version of compulsory reproduction.


Mother Teresa expressed grave doubts about God's existence and pain over her lack of faith:.


Mother Teresa wrote many letters to her confessors and superiors over a 66-year period, most notably to Calcutta Archbishop Ferdinand Perier and Jesuit priest Celeste van Exem.


However, the correspondence was compiled in Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light.


Mother Teresa devoted much of his life to serving the poor, particularly lepers.


Mother Teresa took medicines for nine months to one year.


Mother Teresa said that he had refused to give the Vatican the name of a doctor who would certify that Monica Besra's healing was a miracle.


Mother Teresa was beatified on 19 October 2003, and was known by Catholics as "Blessed".


On 4 September 2017, during a celebration honouring the 1st anniversary of her canonisation, Sister Mary Prema Pierick, Superior-General of the Missionaries of Charity, announced that Mother Teresa would be made the co-patron of the Calcutta Archdiocese during a Mass in the Cathedral of the Most Holy Rosary on 6 September 2017.


On 5 September 2017, Archbishop Thomas D'Souza, who serves as head of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Calcutta, confirmed that Mother Teresa would be named co-patron of the Calcutta Diocese, alongside Francis Xavier.


The ceremony was presided over by D'Souza and the Vatican's ambassador to India, Giambattista Diquattro, who lead the Mass and inaugurated a bronze statue in the church of Mother Teresa carrying a child.


Mother Teresa has been commemorated by museums and named the patroness of a number of churches.


Mother Teresa has had buildings, roads and complexes named after her, including Albania's international airport.


In 2009, the Memorial House of Mother Teresa was opened in her hometown of Skopje, North Macedonia.


In 2012, Mother Teresa was ranked number 5 in Outlook India's poll of the Greatest Indian.