Mother Teresa

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Teresa, Mother

Teresa, Mother (Saint Teresa of Calcutta), 1910–97, Roman Catholic missionary in India, winner of the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize, b. Skopje (now in North Macedonia) as Gonxha Agnes Bojaxhiu. Of Albanian parentage, she joined the Sisters of Loreto in Ireland at 18 and soon left for India, where she became a nun and taught school in Calcutta (now Kolkata) from 1931, becoming the school's principal in 1944. In 1948 she left the convent and founded the Missionaries of Charity (officially recognized 1950) to care for the poor. She became an Indian citizen in 1951. Her order now operates schools, hospitals, orphanages, and food centers worldwide; she stepped down as the order's leader in 1997. She was canonized by Pope Francis in 2016.


See her writings in In My Own Words (1996, comp. by J. L. González-Balado) and her letters in Come Be My Light (2007, ed. by B. Kolodiejchuk).

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In an obsequious week that saw the concept of sainthood thrown about like confetti, the bizarre thing was the subliminal association, in the media mind, of the figures of Diana Spencer and Agnes Bojaxhiu, "Mother Teresa." Early film footage of the life of the first often showed her in close proximity to the second, and a dry-eyed article that I contributed to the Los Angeles Times on the Monday after the Spencer death was headed (not by me) "Mother Teresa or Mrs.
Mother Teresa, originally Agnes Bojaxhiu, had come a long way from Skopje (south of Belgrade in the former Yugoslavia), where she was born Aug.
Born Agnes Bojaxhiu, she took the name Sister Teresa in Ireland when she began her training as a nun with the Loreto Sisters.