Mother Teresa’s life and legacy

Mother Teresa’s life and legacy

Although she was not medically trained, the nun Mother Teresa is remembered for her compassion and care for  sick and suffering people. I had an unexpected chance “encounter” with Mother Teresa .

A few years ago I went to Peoria Illinois for medical training for a new job. I had never been there before so one afternoon I did some exploring.

I came across this magnificent church ,the

Cathedral of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception.an ornate church

I stopped  to get a better look and while exploring the grounds

found this statue of Mother Teresa.  statue of the nun Mother Teresa

 

Catholic nun and missionary Mother Teresa was born on August 26, 1910, in Skopje, the current capital of the Republic of Macedonia. She was baptized as Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu. Her father died suddenly and under mysterious circumstances when she was only 8 years old.  Her mother taught her to care about all people, especially the destitute, although they were far from well off themselves.

She  felt a call to religious life as a young girl, and after becoming a nun, Sister Teresa first worked as a teacher. Later, she felt a second call, this time to work among the poor and sick in Calcutta India. Now known as Mother Teresa, it took her a year to get permission to leave the convent for the slums of Calcutta.

With some of her former students, she founded the Missionaries of Charity. Their projects included founding a leper colony, an orphanage, a nursing home, a family clinic and a string of mobile health clinics. She also opened Gift of Love, a home to care for those infected with HIV/AIDS.

For her work, Mother Teresa was awarded many honors and awards, including the  1979 Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of her work “in bringing help to suffering humanity.”

Despite her acclaim, Mother Teresa remained  modest and humble. After her death, some of her private writings became public, revealing she often doubted her faith and felt lost and alone. Although people criticized her for this, others see it as a reflection of her true faith in God, remaining devout even when she didn’t feel certain, something many of us can understand.

MOTHER TERESA-COME BE MY LIGHT a book cover
MOTHER TERESA-COME BE MY LIGHT

She died in September 1997 and was beatified in October 2003. In December 2015, Pope Francis recognized a second miracle attributed to Mother Teresa, clearing the way for her to be canonized as a saint in 2016. (source biography.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I was curious about why this church in Illinois had a statue of Mother Teresa, so when I returned home I researched the story. I found a story about the church at  Peoria Public Library . Mother Teresa visited Peoria twice because some nuns from the Missionaries of Charity worked there at St. Mary’s. On one occasion she spoke to a group of women saying,

 

 “I am a poor woman that prays.

 

God has not called us to be successful, but to be helpful.”

A local artist, Lonnie Stewart, travelled to India to sketch Mother Teresa, then completed the 6 foot tall statue of her, unveiling it at the church in 1998.

 

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No Greater Love is the essential wisdom of Mother Teresa — the most accessible, intimate, and inspiring book of her teachings.

Thematically arranged to present her revolutionary vision of Christianity in its graceful simplicity, the book features her thoughts on love, generosity, forgiveness, prayer, service, and what it means to be a Christian.

A passionate testament to deep hope and abiding faith in God, No Greater Love celebrates the life and work of one of the world’s most revered spiritual teachers.”

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