Mother Teresa

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

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).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Mother Teresa, whose actual name was Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, moved to India in the late 1920s and taught history and geography for 15 long years at Calcutta's St Mary's High School.
In the note, the Princess of Wales said that something very profound touched her life when she visited Mother Teresa's home in Calcutta.
Mother Teresa and her Missionaries of Charity focused solely on the dispossessed of the earth: those who lived in slums and in the peripheries of our societies; the excluded, the unloved and the rejected; the refugees and the displaced; those who were turned away and despised by a society that was slowly becoming more cruel, more inhuman - which had become immune to see people dying on the streets.
Mother Teresa worked most of her life in Indian under her foundation ' Missionaries of Charity'.
Mother Teresa was admired by many for her charitable work.
The Missionaries of Charity and Mother Teresa faced a threat of violence from a Hindu man who believed the sisters were trying to force Hindus to become Catholic.
Both Mother Teresa and King were driven by their Christian faith and both won the Nobel Peace Prize, King in 1964 and Mother Teresa in 1979.
According to a 1988 biography 'Mother Teresa' by Joan Graff Clucas, she was fascinated by stories of missionaries serving in Bengal and even before her teenage years, decided on a religious life.
Mother Teresa was too ill to see Diana but they met up weeks later at her convent in Rome.
Mother Teresa pictured on a visit to England back in 1996
In 2002, the Vatican ruled that an Indian woman's stomach tumor had been miraculously cured after prayers to Mother Teresa. Pope Francis cleared the way for sainthood last year when he recognised a second miracle attributed to her.