learning, reading, note taking, writing—is worth your while. There are, of course, some Chapter 3 introduces the ski MOTHER TERESA: A Biography. Mother Teresa () was a Roman Catholic nun, who devoted her life to Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and has become a. of stature, rocklike in faith, Mother Teresa of Calcutta was entrusted with the mission of This luminous messenger of God's love was born on 26 August in.
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Susan writes that Mother Teresa spent hours in prayer in the presence of the Lord each day. It was only from her prayer life that. Mother Teresa. Mother Teresa was born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in Skopje*, Macedonia, on. August 26**, Her family was of Albanian descent. At the age of twelve, she. She was fascinated by stories of people who dedicatedtheir life to help Mother Teresa was born in Albania in , and dead / died in
Pope Francis led the canonization mass, which was held in St. Peter's Square in Vatican City. She made her voice heard before the powers of this world, so that they might recognize their guilt for the crime of poverty they created. The Bojaxhius were a devoutly Catholic family, and Nikola was deeply involved in the local church as well as in city politics as a vocal proponent of Albanian independence.
In , when Mother Teresa — then Agnes — was only eight years old, her father suddenly fell ill and died. While the cause of his death remains unknown, many have speculated that political enemies poisoned him. In the aftermath of her father's death, Agnes became extraordinarily close to her mother, a pious and compassionate woman who instilled in her daughter a deep commitment to charity.
Although by no means wealthy, Drana Bojaxhiu extended an open invitation to the city's destitute to dine with her family. When Agnes asked who the people eating with them were, her mother uniformly responded, "Some of them are our relations, but all of them are our people. As a girl, she sang in the local Sacred Heart choir and was often asked to sing solos. The congregation made an annual pilgrimage to the Church of the Black Madonna in Letnice, and it was on one such trip at the age of 12 that she first felt a calling to a religious life.
Six years later, in , an year-old Agnes Bojaxhiu decided to become a nun and set off for Ireland to join the Sisters of Loreto in Dublin. Afterward she was sent to Calcutta, where she was assigned to teach at Saint Mary's High School for Girls, a school run by the Loreto Sisters and dedicated to teaching girls from the city's poorest Bengali families. Sister Teresa learned to speak both Bengali and Hindi fluently as she taught geography and history and dedicated herself to alleviating the girls' poverty through education.
On May 24, , she took her Final Profession of Vows to a life of poverty, chastity and obedience. As was the custom for Loreto nuns, she took on the title of "Mother" upon making her final vows and thus became known as Mother Teresa.
The so-called process of Islamization aggra- vated the religious fragmentation of Albanian society, which had began during the Middle Ages. By the middle of the nineteenth century the Ottoman Empire was weakening. Sensing an opportu- nity to break free of Ottoman domination, the Albanians, along with other Balkan peoples, sought to attain their independence.
In , the leaders of the Albanian independence movement met in Prizren, a town in Kosovo, to found the Albanian League of Prizren.
The league had two main goals. First, to unify Albanian territory, which the Turks had split into four provinces: Kosovo, Shkodra, Monastir, and Janina. Initially, the League of Prizren advocated not Albanian independence, but the cre- ation of an autonomous Albanian state within the Ottoman Empire. Sec- ond, the league initiated a movement to promote Albanian cultural nationalism, emphasizing a distinctly Albanian language, literature, art, and education.
Although the Turks suppressed the League of Prizren in , the nationalist spirit of the league lived on.
Inspired by the league, Albanian leaders met in the town of Monastir in to adopt a national alphabet. Based mostly on Latin, this alphabet supplanted several others, including Arabic and Greek, then in use. It is impossible to overestimate the value of an Albanian national language to the drive for national iden- tity and independence. In addition to repression, however, Turkish leaders promised to reform their administration of Albania to give the Albanians greater power to determine local affairs.
When in , however the same year in which the Albanians adopted a national alphabet , a group called the Young Turks, bent on modernizing and strengthening the empire, seized control of the Turkish government, they ignored previous commitments to the Albanians.
Frustrated at this turn of events, Albanians took up arms and in forced the Turks, in effect, to grant Albania near independence. The son of a large and prosperous family that had long engaged in various commercial enterprises, Bojaxhiu moved from Prizren to Skopje because of its growing reputation as a trading center. An ambitious man, Bojaxhiu quickly bought a house in Skopje and in a short time acquired a number of additional properties. Among his first ventures was supplying medicine to one of the leading doctors in town.
He later went into part- nership with an Italian businessman who traded in a wide variety of goods including oil, sugar, cloth, and leather.
By all accounts, Bojaxhiu was a more-than-capable businessman; he was fluent in five languages and had traveled extensively throughout Eu- rope, the Near East, and North Africa. In addition, he was heavily in- volved in local politics, serving on the town council, and his contracting firm helped to build the first movie theater in Skopje. A patron of the arts, Bojaxhiu was also a faithful member of the local Roman Catholic Church.
In time, Bojaxhiu took a wife, marrying Dranafile Bernai in Prizren, the city in which the Albanian League was created and where Bojaxhiu had once lived. The couple soon returned to Skopje, settling into a spacious house with a large garden. Before long, Dranafile gave birth to three chil- dren: a daughter, Aga, was born in ; a son, Lazar, followed in On August 26, , the couple welcomed their second daughter and last child, Agnes Gonxha.
As an adult, Gonxha spoke little of her childhood, saying only that it had been pleasant. What information there is about her early life comes from her brother, Lazar, who, in describing their childhood together, also remembered it as carefree and peaceful.
Although a strict discipli- narian, Nikola also took special delight in his children. Rarely did a day pass when they did not eagerly await his return home, and he often brought them trinkets as a token of his fatherly affection. Bojaxhiu also entertained his children, for he had a talent for storytelling, and re- counted for them the sights he had seen and the people he had met on SKOPJE 5 his travels.
Then, too, the Bojaxhiu household was often crowded with the visitors who regularly stopped by to talk business or politics with Nikola. During the day, she cooked, cleaned, and mended clothing.
As soon as Nikola returned home, though, all work stopped. Drana put on a clean dress, combed her hair, and made sure the children were present- able to greet their father.
Like her husband, Drana was a stern taskmaster and had little patience with foolish behavior. One evening as the children were chattering, their conversation grew sillier. Drana listened but said nothing. At last she left the room and turned off the main electric switch, plunging the house into darkness.
Agnes Gonxha resembled her mother in other ways. Her brother recalled that Gonxha was also generous and helpful, even though her behavior some- times got her into trouble. Needless to say, Drana did not approve. The strong nationalist pride of the Albanian people, personified in their father, Nikola Bojaxhiu, became a constant in their lives. Lazar remembered his father telling him and his sisters never to forget whose children they were and from what background they came.
Besides opening his home to polit- ical discussion, Nikola also provided financial assistance to the cause of Albanian independence.
November 28, , when Gonxha was only two years old, marked a joyous day in the Bojaxhiu household. On that day the Albanians declared their independence, and Nikola and other pa- triots played and danced well into the night.
Almost every evening, the Bojaxhiu family gathered in the living room to recite the rosary.
A devout Catholic who went to Mass almost every day, Drana not only made sure her children practiced their religion but also in- corporated it into their everyday lives. This was easier said than done. The Roman Catholic community in Albania was small; fewer than 10 percent of the population declared themselves Roman Catholic. Al- though few in number, the Roman Catholic community in Skopje and throughout Albania was close-knit. Not only did Drana practice religious devotion, she also believed deeply in the spiritual value of good works.
She was always available to help those in need. In this practice, her husband supported her and Gonxha aided her. On any given day, Nikola left with Drana enough money to help the poor children or adults who came to the house. Com- monly, the less fortunate not only received a hand out from the Bojaxhiu family, but also took meals with them, reminding the children that the needy were also part of their larger human family. Besides tak- ing strangers into her home, Drana visited the poor in theirs, taking them food, money, and medicine.
On these occasions, Gonxha often accompa- nied her mother, helping her as she made her way from family to family of- fering both spiritual and material comfort. When the time came for the children to begin school, they attended classes held in Sacred Heart Church. For four years, the Bojaxhiu children studied in the Albanian language. At the fifth year, they began to learn in Serbo-Croatian.
Upon leaving the church school, the children went to public schools where all the instruction was given in Serbo-Croatian. Early on, Gonxha distinguished herself as a gifted and disciplined student. When, in , Albanian leaders tried to acquire Kosovo, Nikola traveled to a political gathering in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. While at- tending a banquet, Nikola fell seriously ill. He was not at home.
Growing more desperate and not knowing what to do, Gonxha went to the Skopje railway station hoping to find a priest. Luck was with her. She did locate a priest who agreed to see her father.
The situation was grave. Nikola was dying. The priest arrived at his bedside in time to administer Extreme Unction, today known as the Sacrament of the Sick, which Catholics receive when they are expected to die. Just as the priest finished performing the rite, Nikola began to hemorrhage bleed internally and was rushed to the hospital. Emergency surgery failed to save him. The doc- tors and family were convinced that his political enemies had poisoned him, though no conclusive evidence ever emerged to prove the allega- tion.
Overnight, life in the Bojaxhiu household changed. In addition, even though Drana had the right to estates that her family owned, she had no documents to prove her claim, nor did she have the time, inclination, energy, or money to pursue the matter through the courts. Only the family home remained. Responsibility for the younger children fell in- creasingly on the shoulders of the oldest, Aga. After several months, Drana began to emerge from her mourning.
She handcrafted embroidery and was soon not only selling her handiwork, but marketing the various types of cloth and carpets for which Skopje was fa- mous.
Lazar remembered accompanying his mother to the textile factories where Drana met with the managers who sought her advice on designs and materials to boost sales. As soon as she could, Drana again began to set aside money to help those in need and, despite her busy schedule, still found time to visit the poor. At least once a week she called on an elderly woman whose own family had abandoned her.
Six orphan children came to live in the house. Drana continued to impress upon her children the importance of helping the less fortunate. When you do good, she told the children, do it quietly, without calling attention to your own virtue.
Drana always found creative ways in which to instruct her children. Summoning them one day, she asked them to inspect a basket in which a number of good apples rested. She then placed a rotten apple in the bas- ket and covered it. The following day, she had the children inspect the apples. They discovered that many of the apples, so luscious the day be- fore, were now beginning to rot.
The moral was simple but profound: it takes only one corrupt person to corrupt many others. By the age of twelve she felt she had a calling to help the poor.
This calling took sharper focus through Mother Teresa's teenage years, when she was especially inspired by reports of work being done in India by Yugoslav Jesuit missionaries serving in Bengal, India.
When she was eighteen, Mother Teresa left home to join a community of Irish nuns, the Sisters of Loretto, who had a mission in Calcutta, India. She received training in Dublin, Ireland, and in Darjeeling, India, taking her first religious vows in and her final religious vows in One of Mother Teresa's first assignments was to teach, and eventually to serve as principal, in a girls' high school in Calcutta. Although the school was close to the slums terribly poor sections , the students were mainly wealthy.
In Mother Teresa experienced what she called a second vocation or "call within a call. In the Vatican residence of the pope in Vatican City, Italy gave her permission to leave the Sisters of Loretto and to start a new work under the guidance of the Archbishop of Calcutta. Her first venture in Calcutta was to gather unschooled children from the slums and start to teach them. She quickly attracted both financial support and volunteers.