The Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, M.C.,commonly known as Mother Teresa (26 August 1910 – 5 September 1997), was anAlbanian born, Indian Roman Catholic Religious Sister.
Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic religious congregation, which in 2012 consisted of over 4,500 sisters and is active in 133 countries. They run hospices and homes for people with HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis; soup kitchens; children's and family counseling programmes; orphanages; and schools. Members of the order must adhere to the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience, and the fourth vow, to give "Wholehearted and Free service to the poorest of the poor".
Mother Teresa was the recipient of numerous honours including the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize. In late 2003, she was beatified, the third step toward possible sainthood, giving her the title "Blessed Teresa of Calcutta". A second miracle credited to her intercession is required before she can be recognised as a saint by the Catholic Church.
Admired and respected by many, she has also been accused of failing to provide medical care or painkillers, misusing charitable money, and maintaining positive relationships with dictators.She was born Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu (Albanian: [aˈɲɛz ˈɡɔɲdʒe bɔjaˈdʒiu]) (gonxhameaning "rosebud" or "little flower" in Albanian) on 26 August 1910. She considered 27 August, the day she was baptised, to be her "true birthday". Her birthplace was Skopje, now capital of the Republic of Macedonia, but at the time part of the Ottoman Empire to ethnic Albanian parents.
She was the youngest of the children of Nikollë and Dranafile Bojaxhiu (Bernai). Her father, who was involved in Albanian politics, died in 1919 when she was eight years old.After her father's death, her mother raised her as a Roman Catholic. Her father, Nikollë Bojaxhiu, may have been from Prizren, Kosovo while her mother may have been from a village near Đakovica, Kosovo
According to a biography written by Joan Graff Clucas, in her early years Agnes was fascinated by stories of the lives of missionaries and their service in Bengal, and by age 12 had become convinced that she should commit herself to a religious life. Her final resolution was taken on 15 August 1928, while praying at the shrine of the Black Madonna of Letnice, where she often went on pilgrimage
She left home at age 18 to join the Sisters of Loreto as a missionary. She never again saw her mother or sister.
Agnes initially went to the Loreto Abbey in Rathfarnham, Ireland, to learn English, the language the Sisters of Loreto used to teach school children in India.She arrived in India in 1929, and began her novitiate in Darjeeling, near the Himalayan mountains, where she learnt Bengali and taught at the St. Teresa’s School, a schoolhouse close to her convent.She took her first religious vows as a nun on 24 May 1931. At that time she chose to be named after Thérèse de Lisieux, the patron saint of missionaries, but because one nun in the convent had already chosen that name, Agnes opted for the Spanish spelling Teresa.
She took her solemn vows on 14 May 1937, while serving as a teacher at the Loreto convent school in Entally, eastern Calcutta.Teresa served there for almost twenty years and in 1944 was appointed headmistress.