As a child, I always remember people referring to Mother Teresa and her work and “saintly” life. I saw pictures of her on TV and magazines periodically. It wasn’t till I was a bit older that I understood the enormity of what she represented and not until recently how much she impacted a whole generation through her mercy.
When she died back in 1997, I remember it being shadowed by the death of Princess Diana, just a mere 5 days prior. The world was mourning a princess yet this ordinary woman in Calcutta faded from our existence.
WHO WAS MOTHER TERESA?
Anjeze Gonxhe Bojazhiu was born on August 26th 1910 in Skopje (modern Republic of Macedonia). She was of Albanian decent.
Her father died when she was 8 years old and from a young age she knew she wanted to devote herself to religious life.
At 18 she moved to Rathfarnham, Ireland to join the Sisters of Loreto. After that, she transferred to a convent in India.
She took her vows as a nun in 1931 and chose the name Teresa after Saint Therese of Lisieux and Teresa of Avila.
She taught history and geography in Calcutta at a high school for daughters of the wealthy, however her heart was distressed by the poverty she saw all around her.
After much discernment and preparation, she decided to forgo her nun’s habit and instead adopt a simple sari and sandals. She then moved to a small rented hovel in the slums of India to commence her work.
She continued her work with the poor for the rest of her life, leading up to her death on
September 5th, 1997.
WHY SHOULD WE CELEBRATE HER CANONIZATION?
Besides the countless laborious acts of kindness, selflessness and mercy she’s shown to others, it’s the fact that she is a Saint of the modern ages. She was alive during most of our lives, and she demonstrated what it meant to love and show mercy to the marginalized, the poor, the unwanted. Who in our world today, leads us by example toward forbearance and compassion?
Mother Teresa was exemplary of pity, tolerance, generosity and sympathy. More than ever we need to celebrate that and lift it up.
WHY SHOULD NON-CATHOLICS SHARE IN HER CANONIZATION?Â
Simply because she showed charity to people; we’re all in need of grace and forgiveness.
We all have faults and we’re all sinners. As humans we crave acceptance and gentleness and this is what Mother Teresa symbolized. She went out to the penniless and destitute. She walked among the poverty-stricken and needy. Â She lived her life in such a humbleness that it brings me to tears to even fathom. Our generation needs to know her…hear her story…be inspired by her…whether you’re religious or not…just the fact that you are a human being living on this planet is enough to be witness to this remarkable woman.
I encourage everyone to take the time to read up on Mother Teresa and her life. Watch youtube videos about her. Honour her as she becomes a Saint this Sunday, September 4th.
“Spread love wherever you go. Let no one ever come to you with out leaving happier.”