Mother Teresa – Service Incarnate



Date of Birth - August 27, 1910
Demise date – September 5, 1997
Founder of - Missionaries of Charity, Calcutta (Kolkata)

Name of Awards accepted -
1. Templeton Prize in 1973
2. Nobel Peace Prize in 1979
3. Honorary Citizen of the United States in 1996 (1 of only 6).
4. Highest Indian honor Bharat Ratna.

The fourth from Calcutta to be honored by the Nobel committee of Sweden in a row- Ross, Tagore, Raman – is once a fragile Albanian girl, now turned the proud octogenarian world figure Mother Teresa . Born in August 27, 1910, Agnes Gonaska Bejakishew – for that was her early name – studied in a Government School in Yugoslavia. Even when in her teens she heard the voice of God within and came down to Calcutta as a missionary to relieve the distress and sufferings of the people. And here she became Mother Teresa from a mere teacher of Geography and Bengali in a girls’ School in Calcutta (now kolkata).

Teachings of the Bible inspired her to be touched by the sufferings and miseries of the slum dwellers of Calcutta and give up the secluded mission life and service of the doomed. To prepare herself for this service she donned the coarse, white blue bordered saree of a female sweeper and made this the dress of the ”Sister of Charity”. The sweeper’s dress indicates the mission’s humanity and an emblem of fight against untouchability.

Bare-handed with only the strength of conviction she carried the first dying man to her care at Entally and thus started the world-wide network of service now associated with her name. Almost everywhere can be found her Sisters of the Mission. Edward Kennedy kissed her soiled hand as she cleansed the cholera patients among the refugees from Bangladesh in their freedom struggle. African drought-stricken men and women received from her hands their victuals. A silent worker Mother Teresa has glorified the sweeper-woman’s dress by wearing the blue-fringed thick saree. For her service she was awarded in 1979 the Nobel Prize and highest Indian honor of Bharat Ratna . Mother Teresa died in 1997. May she live long to serve the suffering humanity.


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