If you were to flip through the pages of a history book, you may only find a handful of women mentioned. Despite the lack of women written about in history, there were, and still are, many strong and influential women that have made a lasting impact on the world. Such is the case with Mother Teresa.
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Mother Teresa, or Saint Teresa of Calcutta, impacted the world in a way few people have done before. She devoted her life to God and the help of others that were outcasted because of wealth, or lack thereof, health, disability, and age. Mother Teresa overcame challenges and stood true to her beliefs for the entirety of her mission.
Born August 26, 1910, in Skopje Macedonia, Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu grew up in a faith-devoted family deeply involved in their parish. Her father, Dranafile, died when Agnes was only eight years old, so she became very close with her mother, Nikola. Nikola implanted in Agnes a deep commitment to charity and told Agnes to “never eat a single mouthful unless you are sharing it with others.” By the age of twelve, Agnes felt a call from God to lead a faithful life. When she was eighteen years old, she moved to Ireland to join the Sisters of Loreto in Dublin. Here, she took the name Sister Mary Teresa after Saint Therese of Lisieux. A year later, she traveled to India for the novitiate period- a time of training, preparation, and discerning a religious member must undergo prior to taking vows. In May 1931, Sister Mary Teresa made her First Profession of Vows. Sister Mary Teresa was sent to Calcutta following her First Profession where she was to teach at Saint Mary’s High School for Girls. Six years later, on May 24, she took her Final Profession of Vows and upon this, changed her title to Mother Teresa, as was a custom for the Loreto nuns. In 1994, Mother Teresa became the principal of Saint Mary’s and taught the children through her example how to lead a life devoted to God.
On September 10, 1946, Mother Teresa received a second call from God, this time telling her to abandon her job at Saint Mary’s to help aid the poorest and sickest people. Two years later, she finally got official permission to leave her convent. Mother Teresa went through six months of basic medical training, then went right to work. Right away she started an open-air school for the poor and made a home for people who were dying.
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