Gonxha Agnes Bojaxhiu was born on August 26th, 1910, in Skopje, Macedonia. Her parents, of Albanian origin, were Catholics. Gonxha lost her father at the age of eight and received her religious training from her mother and the Jesuit parish of the Sacred Heart. She took an early interest in the idea of becoming a missionary, she realized this project at the age of eighteen and left for Dublin in Ireland to enter the Institute of the Virgin Mary, also called the Sisters of Loreto. There she received the name of Sister Mary Teresa, in honor of Saint Therese of Lisieux.
A year later, in 1929, she was sent to Calcutta, India with the community of Loretto Entally. Sister Teresa took her first vows in 1931 and became a teacher at the Sainte-Marie Girls' School. In 1937 she made her perpetual vows becoming, as she said, "the wife of Jesus for eternity." From then on, she was called Mother Teresa. In 1944, she became the principal of the school. She was noted for her great qualities; she was pious, charitable, hardworking and full of love for her sisters and students.
On September 10, 1946, on her way to her annual retreat, Mother Teresa received her "call in the call" on the train. She heard Jesus say to her inwardly: "Come, be my light" and vividly felt the thirst for Jesus of souls and to be loved by souls, the desire to satisfy Jesus then became the goal of Mother Teresa. Subsequently, Jesus revealed to her, through interior expressions and visions, the desire of his heart to have "victims of love, to spread his love over souls". Jesus expressed his sorrow at the neglect of the poor and his suffering at being ignored by them. He asked Mother Teresa to establish a religious community: the Missionary Sisters of Charity, dedicated to the service of the poorest of the poor. Two years of trials and discernment would pass before Mother Teresa received permission in 1948 to found this order. She then dressed in her famous white sari lined with blue and settled temporarily with the Little Sisters of the Poor. Mother Teresa began each day with the Eucharist and then went out, with the rosary in her hand, to the slums to take care of the rejected, the unloved, the abandoned. After a few months, her former students joined her one by one.
On October 7, 1950, the Congregation of the Missionaries of Charity was officially established in the Archdiocese of Calcutta. Ten years later, Mother Teresa began to send her sisters to other parts of India. In 1965, Pope Paul VI gave his approval and the congregation gradually opened houses on all continents. In view of the rapid growth of its foundations, the world turned its gaze to Mother Teresa and her work. She received numerous prizes, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. During these years, however, Mother Teresa went through an inner trial, called the “night of faith.” At the end of her life, Mother Teresa encountered more and more serious health problems, and in March 1997, she blessed the new Superior General. She died in Calcutta on September 5, 1997. She was 87 years old.
Given her reputation for holiness, his cause of beatification was opened only two years after her death. After the recognition of a first miracle, Mother Teresa was beatified on October 19, 2003 by John Paul II. Pope Francis celebrated the canonization on September 4, 2016.
Mother Teresa's greatest work is the foundation of the Missionaries of Charity, but it did not stop there. To meet the physical and spiritual needs of the poor, Mother Teresa founded the Missionary Brothers of Charity in 1963, the contemplative branch of the Sisters in 1976, the Contemplative Brothers in 1979, and the Missionary Fathers of Charity in 1984. Mother Teresa explained that each branch of the great family of the Missionaries was hidden in one of Jesus' wounds. She said: “I asked Our Lady to keep the Society hidden in the five wounds of Jesus.” Thus, the Missionary Brothers and Sisters correspond to the wounds of the hands, the Brothers and Sisters contemplative to the wounds of the feet and the priests to the wound of the Heart of Jesus.
Mother Teresa also thought of the non-religious, for whom she trained the Co-Workers of Mother Teresa and the CO-Workers of the Sick and Suffering. In 1981 Mother Teresa launched the Corpus Christi movement to help priests by giving them a "little path of holiness" according to her personal charisma. When Mother Teresa died in 1997, there were about four thousand sisters in 610 foundations in 123 countries.
The miracle recognized for beatification is that of Monica Besra in 1998. This Indian woman suffered from an ovarian tumor and was in one of the Missionaries of Charity centers. She was taken by the sisters to the chapel where she saw a bright light coming out of Mother Teresa's photo. The sisters then put on her a medal blessed by Mother Teresa and asked for her intercession. A few hours later, the young woman got up unassisted and noticed that the pain had disappeared, as well as the swelling. In 2002, a group of five experts unanimously recognized the instantaneous, complete, permanent, and inexplicable nature of healing.
The second miracle, which this time gave rise to canonization, was that of a Brazilian, Marcilio Haddad Andrino. In 2008, he discovered that he had brain abscesses. With his wife, he began to pray to Mother Teresa and to apply relics of the saint on his head. His condition worsened, and an operation was planned. While Marcilio was on the operating table, the doctors found him inexplicably awake and painless. Several days after examinations revealed that the abscesses had completely disappeared. Mother Teresa's intercession for her family did not stop there, since the couple who had only a 1% chance of one day having a child had two children.
Mother Teresa had a powerful word, she placed Christ and prayer at the heart of her teachings. Here are some beautiful quotations that will help to know her spirituality based on love of neighbor.
"At the end of our days, we will not be judged by the number of diplomas received, the money we have accumulated or the achievements to our credit. We will be judged by our response to: “I was hungry and you fed me. I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless and you welcomed me.” ».
“We know that what we do is just a drop in the ocean. But if this drop were not in the ocean, it would be missing. "
“The child is a gift of God to the family. Every child is created in the image and likeness of God for great things, to love and to be loved. "
“The family that prays together remains united, and if it remains united, each will love the other as God loves each member of the family. And works of love are always works of peace. ” (Find out how to pray as a family)
“Love begins at home, and destruction and hatred also begin at home. More and more people are realizing that if we do not bring prayer and love back to the family, we will never have peace. "
“Holiness is not a luxury reserved for a few; it is a simple duty, for you and for me. Be all for Jesus through Mary. Be holy. God bless you! ».
"If we are full of sin, God cannot fill us, for God himself cannot fill what is full. That is why we need forgiveness: we empty ourselves, and God fills us with himself. "
“Life is a chance, seize it”.
Saint Teresa of Calcutta, Jesus called you to bring the light of His love to those who live in darkness.
Through your love and tenderness for the poorest, you have become a sign of God's presence, love and compassion in the midst of suffering and sorrow.
By your example, help us to recognize the face of Jesus in our suffering brothers and sisters and to serve Him with humility and joy.
Teach us to be living witnesses of God's love, tenderness and mercy, so that we may be the sign that God always loves the world through each one of us. Amen”
Saint Teresa of Calcutta, you allowed Jesus' thirsty love on the Cross to become a living flame in you, and so you became the light of His love for all. Get me from the Heart of Jesus… (Mention here the intention for which we pray).
Teach me to allow Jesus to penetrate and possess my whole being so completely that my life too can radiate His light and love to others. Amen. Amen.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, cause of our joy, pray for me.
Saint Teresa of Calcutta, pray for me.
Hozana offers you a beautiful novena to get to know Saint Teresa of Calcutta