Today, August 26, marks the birth anniversary of Mother Teressa, whose amazing life has been marked by numerous acts of selflessness and significant contributions to humanity. Here are some lesser-known details about this exceptional nun’s life and career.
Mother Teresa, often known as the “Saint of the Gutters,” was not only a well-known humanitarian throughout the world but also possessed the honorary citizenship of the United States. She was given this incredible distinction in recognition of her lifetime of dedication to easing the pain of the poor and oppressed people. Some of her lesser-known facts are listed here.
Mother Teresa left her family at the age of 18 and joined the Sisters of Loreto in Dublin to follow her calling as a nun. She never again had the chance to reconcile with her family during the rest of her life after that.
Her religion did not always hold throughout her life. Many of the records and private letters in Mother Teresa’s combined works, Come Be My Light, attest to the numerous occasions she wrestled with doubts about her faith and God. At one point, she even said the words “Deep down, there is nothing in me by emptiness and darkness.”
Her birth name was Anjeze Gonxhe Bojaxhiu, where “Anjeze” is the Albanian word for “little flower.” She was born on August 26, 1910, which is interesting because she opted to celebrate August 27th as her actual birthday, making that day special throughout her life.
The illustrious nun received more than 120 honors and prizes, including the 1962 Ramon Magsaysay Peace Prize and the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize.
Another intriguing truth is that she knew Princess Diana. At their final encounter in 1997, they not only prayed together, but also strolled hand in hand through the streets of New York. Tragically, Mother Teresa passed away on September 5 and Princess Diana passed away in a car accident on August 31.
In 1985, Mother Teresa received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Ronald Reagan and his wife. Even though this award is typically granted to Americans who have made outstanding contributions to their nation, Mother Teresa was a rare exception to this tradition.
Birth anniversary of Mother Teresa: Inspiring statements and unknown facts
INSPIRING QUOTES BY MOTHER TERESA:
“Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.” – Mother Teresa
“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” – Mother Teresa
“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” – Mother Teresa
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” – Mother Teresa
“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” – Mother Teresa
“The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.” – Mother Teresa
“Peace begins with a smile.” – Mother Teresa
“Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.” – Mother Teresa
“Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.” – Mother Teresa
“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean will be less because of that missing drop.” – Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa’s Work in India
Mother Teresa received a diplomatic passport from the Indian government under the name Mary Teresa Bojaxhiu. In 1962, she was awarded the Padma Shri, and in 1969, she was given the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding.
She later got further honors from India, including the Bharat Ratna, which is the country’s highest civilian honor, in 1980. Navin Chawla’s official biography of Mother Teresa was released in 1992. She is revered as a divinity in Calcutta by some Hindus.
On August 28, 2010, the Indian government released a commemorative 5-rupee coin (the amount Mother Teresa had when she landed in India) to mark the 100th anniversary of her birth.
President Pratibha Patil stated that “clad in a white sari with a blue border, she and the sisters of Missionaries of Charity became a symbol of hope to many—namely, the aged, the destitute, the unemployed, the diseased, the terminally ill, and those abandoned by their families.”
Mother Teresa is not viewed favorably by all Indians. Aroup Chatterjee, a physician from Calcutta who was born and raised there and spent years working as an activist in the city’s slums before emigrating to the UK, claimed that he “never even saw any nuns in those slums.
” A 2003 book that was critical of Mother Teresa described his investigation, which involved more than 100 interviews with volunteers, nuns, and other people associated with the Missionaries of Charity. She was condemned by Chatterjee for fostering a “cult of suffering” and a false, unfavorable perception of Calcutta, embellishing the work carried out by her mission, and abusing the resources and privileges at her disposal.
He claimed that following Mother Teresa’s work, several of the hygienic issues he had criticized (such the reuse of needles) improved.
No doubt there was poverty in Calcutta, but it was never a city of lepers and beggars, as Mother Teresa presented it, according to Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya, the city’s mayor from 2005 to 2010.
He also claimed that she glorified illness rather than treating it and misrepresented the city. In opposition to Mother Teresa on the Hindu right over the Christian Dalits, the Bharatiya Janata Party hailed her in death and sent an envoy to her funeral. However, Vishwa Hindu Parishad disagreed with the government’s choice to give her a state funeral.
“Her first duty was to the Church and social service was incidental,” Secretary Giriraj Kishore claimed, accusing her of favoring Christians and performing “secret baptisms” of the dying.
The Indian fortnightly Frontline called the accusations “patently false” and stated that they had “made no impact on the public perception of her work, especially in Calcutta” in a front-page ode. The tribute’s author praised Teresa’s “selfless caring,” drive, and bravery while criticizing her outspoken opposition to abortion and assertion that she is politically neutral.
Mother Teresa’s goal, according to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh head Mohan Bhagwat in February 2015, was “to convert the person who was being served into a Christian.
” Bhagwat’s assessment was backed by former RSS spokesperson M. G. Vaidhya, and the group accused the media of “distorting facts about Bhagwat’s remarks.
” Arvind Kejriwal, the chief minister of Delhi, Derek O’Brien of the Trinamool Congress, and Atul Anjan of the CPI all objected to Bhagwat’s statement. During the tenure of D. S. Satyaranjan as registrar, the Senate of Serampore College (University), the nation’s first modern university, conferred an honorary degree in 1991