What Do You Think About Mother Teresa?
"By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the Heart of Jesus".
Regardless of whether you are a Christian, a Jew, or whatever religion, shouldn’t any and every website, and all other media that is dedicated to heroes and heroines, acclaim Mother Teresa a heroine?
Mother Teresa’s True Birthday
Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu (Gonxha means "rosebud" or "little flower" in Albanian) was born on August 26, 1910, but she considered August 27, the day she was baptised, to be her "true birthday".
Just One Of Mother Teresa’s Gifts To The World
Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic religious congregation, which in 2012 consisted of over 4,500 sisters and is presently active in 133 countries. They run hospices and homes for people with HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis; soup kitchens; children’s and family counseling programmes; orphanages; and schools.
Members of the order must adhere to the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience, and the fourth vow, to give:
"Wholehearted and Free service to the poorest of the poor".
By 1996, she was operating 517 missions in more than 100 countries.
And over the years, Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity grew from twelve to thousands serving the "poorest of the poor" in 450 centers around the world.
Recognition And Miracles
Mother Teresa was the recipient of numerous honors including the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize.
In 2002, the Vatican recognized as a miracle the healing of a tumor in the abdomen of an Indian woman, Monica Besra, after the application of a locket containing Mother Teresa’s picture. Besra said that a beam of light emanated from the picture, curing the cancerous tumor.
And in late 2003, she was beatified, the third step toward possible sainthood, giving her the title "Blessed Teresa of Calcutta".
She Was Not Granted Sainthood
"Sainthood" would have required a second ‘proven’ miracle however, so Mother Teresa did not receive canonization.
* Canonization, or canonization is the act by which the Catholic Church or Eastern Orthodox Church declares a deceased person to be a saint, upon which declaration the person is included in the canon, or list, of recognized saints.
By 1996, Mother Teresa was operating 517 missions in more than 100 countries.
And over the years, Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity grew from twelve to thousands serving the poorest of the poor.
The View From America
The first Missionaries of Charity home in the United States was established in the South Bronx, New York; and by 1984 the order operated nineteen establishments throughout the country.
In 1999, a poll of Americans ranked her first in Gallup’s List of Most Widely Admired People of the 20th Century.
Heart Attacks And Declining Health
Mother Teresa suffered her first heart attack in Rome in 1983, while visiting Pope John Paul II and after a second attack in 1989, she received an artificial pacemaker.
In 1991, after a battle with pneumonia while in Mexico, she suffered further heart problems and she offered to resign her position as head of the Missionaries of Charity, but the sisters of the order, in a secret ballot, voted for her to stay.
And Mother Teresa agreed to continue her work as head of the order.
In April 1996, Mother Teresa fell and broke her collar bone and in August of that year she suffered from malaria and failure of the left heart ventricle.
On 13 March 1997, she stepped down from the head of Missionaries of Charity and she died on September 5, 1997.
I will say little of the criticism that was leveled against Mother Teresa after her death, because whatever her failings, her good deeds far outweighed them.
The journalist Christopher Hitchens was one of her most active critics and he was commissioned to co-write and narrate the documentary Hell’s Angel about her for the British Channel 4. and Hitchens later expanded on his criticism of her in a 1995 book, ‘The Missionary Position’.
The German magazine Stern published a critical article on the first anniversary of Mother Teresa’s death which related to allegations regarding financial matters and the spending of donations.
The medical press has also published criticism of her, arising from very different outlooks and priorities on patients’ needs.
Other critics include Tariq Ali of the New Left Review and the Irish investigative journalist Donal MacIntyre.
Can we possibly compare the above criticisms to the contributions made by Mother Teresa?
Born: August 26, 1910, Skopje
Died: September 5, 1997, Kolkata
Full name: Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu
Awards: Nobel Peace Prize, Bharat Ratna, Padma Shri, Presidential Medal of Freedom, Balzan Prize, Jawaharlal Nehru Award, Pacem in Terris Award, Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding, Pope John XXIII Peace Prize, Albert Scheitzer International Prize, Golden Honor of the Nation, Ramon Magsaysay Award for Peace and International Understanding.
Why do such little people want to put such great people down?
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