Born in Skopje, Macedonia as Agnes Gonxha Bijaxhiu on August 26, 1910, the journey of a girl from Albanian descent to the Indian sub-continent as Mother Teresa was long and arduous.She first heard the Voice of God at the age of 12 and no sooner had she stepped into adulthood and reached the age of 18, she left her parental home in Skopje and joined the sisters of Loreto, an Irish community on nuns on way to India.
After undergoing a short training stint at Dublin, Mother Teresa finally arrived in India on May 24, 1931 where as a nun she started her teaching career in St. Mary’s High School in erstwhile Calcutta between 1931 to 1948.
However, her real calling awaited her outside those gates of the convent school. She was appalled at the misery and suffering of the people so much so that by 1948, she had abdicated her post as a teacher and devoted herself to working for the poorest of the poor residing in the slums.
With no source of guaranteed fund, she attend her open school for slum children with divine providence. Volunteers and sponsors started backing this lone woman’s determination and the journey took off.
On October 7, 1950, she established her own order, the Missionaries of Charity, whose primary aim was to provide love and care to the destitute
Since then the order established by her has come along way and provided help in many cities of India, Africa, Asia and Latin America, Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, North America, Europe and Australia.
She died in the year 1997 leaving behind a legacy of 4500 sisters who are active in more than 133 countries across the globe.
For her lifelong contribution to the cause of the under-privileged and the truly needy she was awarded with the Ramon Magsaysay Peace Prize (1962), Nobel Peace Prize (1979) and beatified in Vatican City by Pope John Paul II in 2003. She was also canonized as the co-patron of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Calcutta in 2017.