Sabreena H. February 5, 2013 Challenge II Biography of Mother Theresa Jesus in Disguise Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, now known as Mother Teresa, was born in Skopje, Macedonia on August 26, 1910. Her family was of Albanian descent and devoutly Catholic. Her parents, Nikola and Dranafile Bojaxhiu, did their absolute best to raise her and her two older siblings in a Godly, respectable way. Nikola was a hard working, successful businessman and her mother, Dranafile, stayed at home to devotedly tend to the children.
Devastatingly, Mother Teresa’s father died when she was only eight years old, leaving their family completely torn apart. Grieving Dranafile suddenly became a single mother of three struggling to make ends meet, selling textiles and hand-made embroidery to earn a meager income. Deeply broken over the unexpected loss of her father, Mother Teresa turned to the Lord for comfort and made the decision, at an early age, to truly devote her life to following the will of God.
Four years later, at the age of twelve, she felt heavily called to serve God as a nun. She knew in her heart that she had to be a missionary to spread the love of Christ to the lost. Although she battled this decision for five years, she completely surrendered and left her home, at the age of eighteen, to join the Sisters of Loreto, an Irish community of nuns with missions in India. Following a few months of training and preparation in Dublin, she was irrevocably sent to India, where she arrived on January 6, 1929.
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After serving for two years, as somewhat of an apprentice, Mother Teresa took her official vows as a Loreto nun on May 24, 1931. She settled in to the Loreto Entally convent in Calcutta to begin teaching History and Geography at St. Mary’s High School. The the immense amount of suffering and severe poverty she saw outside the newly entered convent walls made such a profound impression on her, that in 1948 she sought and gained permission from her understanding superiors to depart from the school and fully devote herself to ministering among the nfortunate, underprivileged people in Calcutta. Mother Teresa devoted herself to serving others. She used every second of her life to fulfill her purpose. She faithfully lived out the commandment, “love your neighbor as yourself. ” She lived in the slums of Calcutta for a few years, and then went on to found the Missionaries of Charity. She was doing what she did best, loving those around her. She taught small children by drawing letters in the sand with a stick, when she had no other supplies.
When she was given the opportunity to rent a small hut, she turned it into a classroom. In March 1949, Mother Teresa was united with a helper, a former pupil from Loreto. Soon she had ten pupils assisting her. She petitioned to form her own order of nuns, the Missionaries of Charity, and her request was joyfully granted by Pope Plus XII. The Missionaries of Charity was established on October 7, 1950. She opened a home for the dying called Nirmal Hriday (Place of the Immaculate Heart) on August 22, 1925.
This home was a safe haven to the dying people who were brought in by the nuns. Mother Teresa loved and cared for the people and wanted them to be given the chance to die with dignity. In 1959, the Missionaries of Charity established their first children’s home, which cared for the many orphans in the area. Here the children were fed, given medical aid, but most of all, loved. Mother Teresa also established a leper colony called Shanti Nagar (Place of Peace) after seeing the large amount of people that were infected with the widespread sickness.
This colony was a place where lepers could live and work, which was quite a blessing, considering the mass amount of ostracized people plagued with the crippling disease. Mother Teresa was awarded copious honors, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979; yet, she never took any acknowledgement for her remarkable accomplishments. She gave every ounce of glory to God. She was a constant inspiration and advocate for those in need. In the 1980s, she opened the Gift of Love homes in New York, San Francisco, Denver, and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for those suffering with AIDS.
Although her health was slowly deteriorating, she never ceased to share the message of Christ and pour out love on the people around her. She passed away on September 5, 1997 at the age of 87. She left behind over 4,000 Missionary of Charity Sisters, in 610 centers, in 123 countries around the world. Her incredible kindness, selfless love, and obedience in following God’s will, were all qualities that made her admirable. She was a living example of Christian love and believed that everyone was Jesus in disguise.
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