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Blessed Mother Teresa Of Calcutta (1910 - 1997) Feast day: September 5

Mother Teresa of Calcutta, winner of the Novel Prize for Peace in 1979, born Agnes Boyaxhul in Yugoslavia in 1910 is herself a bridge between the silent, serving women of the past and the modern woman like Dorothy Day who have made an impact on the world. Tiny Agnes joined the Loretta sisters in Ireland at the age of 18 and within a year was sent to do her novitiate year and to begin her teaching at a high school in Calcutta. She taught there for 20 years, but on the way to a retreat in 1946 says she heard a call to give up everything and serve among the poorest of the poor in the slums of India. From the American Medical Mission sisters she learned some basic medicine, and soon was not just teaching the poor of Calcutta, but treating them in their homes.

When an official took her to an abandoned temple to the goddess Kali and offered her the space, she started the hospital and home for the destitute sick and dying known as Kalighat. Over the years she expanded her work enormously by responding to every sort of deprivation she encountered. Houses for her work have been established in many cities around the world. She took in orphans, carried dying old people in, established clinics and care centers for lepers, among other things. Eventually her work led to the founding of her own order, the Missionaries of Charity which now has thousands of members ministering in over 50 cities worldwide.

In an era of declining vocations, she explains the attraction of women to her work among the poor as understandable, since “There are women in this work who are still looking for a life of prayer, poverty and sacrifice.” Despite her fame world over, Mother Teresa continued in her humble work among the poorest of the poor in Calcutta, washing her own laundry and doing her own dishes, until she could do so no longer. Visitors were always struck by her simplicity and frugality, and her definite hands-on approach in her care for the dying.

Quotes Of Mother Teresa

"Keep the joy of loving God in your heart and share this joy with all you meet especially your family. Be holy – let us pray."

"I once picked up a woman from a garbage dump and she was burning with fever; she was in her last days and her only lament was: ‘My son did this to me.’ I begged her: You must forgive your son. In a moment of madness, when he was not himself, he did a thing he regrets. Be a mother to him, forgive him. It took me a long time to make her say: ‘I forgive my son.’ Just before she died in my arms, she was able to say that with a real forgiveness. She was not concerned that she was dying. The breaking of the heart was that her son did not want her. This is something you and I can understand."

"Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin."

"Like Jesus we belong to the world living not for ourselves but for others. The joy of the Lord is our strength."

"There is only one God and He is God to all; therefore it is important that everyone is seen as equal before God. I’ve always said we should help a Hindu become a better Hindu, a Muslim become a better Muslim, a Catholic become a better Catholic. We believe our work should be our example to people. We have among us 475 souls - 30 families are Catholics and the rest are all Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs—all different religions. But they all come to our prayers."

"There are so many religions and each one has its different ways of following God. I follow Christ:
Jesus is my God,
Jesus is my Spouse,
Jesus is my Life,
Jesus is my only Love,
Jesus is my All in All;
Jesus is my Everything."

Make us worthy, Lord, to serve those people throughout the world who live and die in poverty and hunger. Give them through our hands, this day, their daily bread, and by our understanding love, give them peace and joy. I heard the call to give up all and follow Christ into the slums to serve Him among the oorest of the poor. It was an order. I was to leave the convent and help the poor while living among them.

When a poor person dies of hunger, it has not happened because God did not take care of him or her. It has happened because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed.

You and I, we are the Church, no? We have to share with our people. Suffering today is because people are hoarding, not giving, not sharing. Jesus made it very clear. Whatever you do to the least of my brethren, you do it to me. Give a glass of water, you give it to me. Receive a little
child, you receive me.

Everybody today seems to be in such a terrible rush, anxious for greater developments and greater riches and so on, so that children have very little time for their parents. Parents have very little time for each other, and in the home begins the disruption of peace of the world.

If we really want to love we must learn how to forgive.

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