Guwahati: Today marks the 110th birthday of the most devoted humanitarian of the 20th century, Mother Teresa. Her commitment to a charitable world is a beacon of light to us all.
Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, or Saint Teresa of Calcutta, also known as Mother Teresa was born in August 26, 1910 to a ethnic family of Albanians, Skopje, the capital of the Republic of Macedonia in 1910.
She worked relentlessly in Bengal for the most part of her life in an Albanian-Indian Roman Catholic missionary. Mother Teresa left home at the age of 18 and joined the Sisters of Loreto congregation in Ireland.
She learned English as she wanted to be a missionary. Mother Teresa came to India in 1929 and started working in Darjeeling as a teacher. She took her religious vows on 24 May, 1931, and started working for the poor and the needy.
She was moved by the poverty in India and by the Bengal famine in 1943. She later went on to teach at a school in Kolkata, where she served for almost two decades. However, serving the poor and needy was Mother Teresa's true calling and in 1948 she began her journey of serving the poor and the needy.
She founded the Roman Catholic religious congregation (which later went on to be known as Missionaries of charity) in 1950 in order to eradicate poverty and help the needy.
During her life, Mother Teresa set up many homes for the poor, needy, those dying from AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis all over India, and according to a 2013 report, Missionaries of Charity has expanded to 700 missions in 130 countries, providing aid and support to the needy and diseased.
In 1979, Mother Teresa won the Nobel Peace Prize "for work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which also constitutes a threat to peace", but she refused the prize money of $192,000 and asked for it to be donated to the poor in India. In 2017, she was posthumously canonized as a Patron Saint by the Vatican Pope for her service to the needy and poor.
On her special day, Teresa is being remembered all over the world. People from all corners of the world are paying their tributes to the benevolent soul who made a mark on thousands of souls through her work.
"Remembering Mother Teresa (born #OnThisDay in 1910) who was awarded the 1979 #NobelPeacePrize. She founded 'The Missionaries of Charity' in Calcutta, India whose primary task was to love and care for those persons nobody was prepared to look after", wrote a tweet sent out from the official handle of the Noble prize.
Some of her famous quotes are as follows:
What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family
Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin
On September 5, 1997, at the age of 87, Mother Teresa left for her heavenly abode. In gratitude for her services to the poor people of the country, she received a state funeral from the Indian government.
St. Teresa carries the message of humanity and caring as a universal bridge among nations & religions of the world.