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Born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu August 26, 1910 in Albania, Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta or more commonly known, Mother Teresa, left home at age 18 and entered an Irish community of nuns known as the Sisters of Loreto for her religious training. She took her vows on May 24, 1931 and until 1948 taught at St. Mary's High School in Calcutta. She had daily exposure to the poverty outside the convent walls and it left such a deep impression on her that she experienced what she described as "the call within the call" and left the convent to begin working with and living among the poor. As one author noted: "Though no one knew it at the time, Sister Teresa had just become Mother Teresa".
Mother Teresa began her own order, "The Missionaries of Charity" in 1950 with the primary task being to love and care for those persons nobody was prepared to look after. The Society became an International Religious Family by a decree from Pope Paul VI. Today the order is spread all over the world, including the former Soviet Union and Eastern European countries. It provides help to the poorest of the poor in Asia, Africa and Latin America as well as providing world wide relief in the wake of natural catastrophes and for refugees.
The Missionaries of Charity was an official International Association by 1969 and by the 1990s there were over one million Co-Workers in more than 40 countries who attempt to follow Mother Teresa's spirit.
Mother Teresa received many awards and distinctions including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, the Pope John XXIII Peace Prize in 1971, the Nehru Prize for promotion of international peace and understanding in 1972 and the Balzan Prize in 1979.
Upon her death in 1997, the Catholic Church began the process of beatification and that beatification took place in 2003, thereby bestowing on her the title of "Blessed". A second miracle is required for her to proceed to canonization (sainthood).
People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;
It was never between you and them anyway.
~ written on the wall in Mother Teresa's home for children in Calcutta