Tuesday, 5 September 2017

# Saints

Saint Teresa of Calcutta

Mother Teresa at a pro-life meeting
in 1986 in BonnWest Germany



The 5th of September is the feast day of Saint Teresa of Calcutta. She is the patron saint of World Youth Day, Missionaries of Charity and the Archdiocese of Calcutta (co-patron).

Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta was born in 1910 in what is now Macedonia to a family of Albanian descent. When she was young, she was interested in the stories of missionaries serving in India. By the time she was 12 she discerned a vocation to the religious life, and at 18 years old she joined the Sisters of Loreto to be a missionary to India. In 1929 she arrived in India and taught n Darjeeling at a schoolhouse for wealthy children. She chose her religious name after Saint Therese of Lisieux, who is the patron saint of missionaries. She became head mistress and served the school for 20 years. She became aware and disturbed at the extreme poverty and societal unrest she observed around her. She then answered "the call within a call" and started her own religious order in Calcutta, minister to, as she described, the "hungry, the naked, the homeless, the crippled, the blind, the lepers, as those people who feel unwanted, unloved, uncared for throughout society, people that have become a burden to the society and are shunned by everyone." The Missionaries of Charity was started in 1950 with 12 sisters. By the time she died on September 5, 1997, there were 4000 sisters operating 610 missions in 123 countries in the Missionaries of Charity. She received the Nobel Peace Prize and received the Pope John XXIII Peace Prize. On September 4, 2016 she was canonised by Pope Francis.

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