Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu, or Mother Teresa, was a Catholic nun responsible for helping the sick and poor in different parts of the world, with the support of her congregation, Missionaries of Charity, which still has branches in several countries. She was born on August 26, 1910, in the city of Skopje, Macedonia, and died on September 5, 1997, aged 87, in Calcutta, India. His canonization took place on September 4, 2016, in Rome by Pope Francis. Since then, September 5th has been marked as the liturgical feast and the Day of Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Learn more about the history and prayers of the Saint.
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Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu
Daughter of Albanian Catholic parents, she has always been taught how important it is to share food with the poor and love your neighbor.
The girl lost her father very early, at the age of nine. Since then, her mother has opened an embroidery shop and devoted herself to many charities there. In this way, Gonxhe grew up surrounded by examples of piety and generosity.
At 18, she decided to join the religious order of the Sisters of Our Lady of Loreto, linked to the Jesuit missionary congregation, dedicated to education. So the young woman moved to Dublin, Ireland. From that moment on, it would be Sister Maria Teresa do Menino Jesus.
Its formation took place in Darjeeling, India, 600 km from Calcutta. After 18 months of novitiate, he received his vows. As a teacher, she started teaching at a school near the convent where she lived. A few years later, he went to teach on the eastern side of Calcutta.
However, the region’s poverty bothered her a lot. Two events – the great famine in the Bengal region in 1943 and the episode of violence between Hindus and Muslims in 1946 – made Teresa decide to “abandon” the convent and help those most in need, living among them.
So, she was sent to the Santa Familia hospital, in the Indian city of Patna, to intern for three months and acquire medical knowledge.
Upon her return, in 1948, she moved permanently to the poorest neighborhoods of Calcutta, where she began to live with her former students, the first Missionaries of Charity. At that time, already called Teresa, she went to the city authorities seeking the concession of an old building that would serve to house tuberculosis patients, people who suffered from dysentery and tetanus.
All the women in the congregation changed their garments into a white cotton sari with blue edges. In addition, Mother Teresa received her Indian citizenship in 1951.
Mother Teresa also founded the Casa do Coração Puro, in a building provided by the authorities of Calcutta, in 1952. The shelter aimed to treat the poor abandoned on the brink of death, with some limbs almost deteriorating.
In 1986, the site was visited by Pope John Paul II. This fact allowed for a faster expansion of the congregation. In the 1990s, for example, the Missionaries of Charity had 4,000 sisters working in orphanages and charity centers in around 130 countries. The first open house outside Calcutta was in Venezuela, in 1965. Then it was Italy, the United States and the Soviet Union. For her work around the world, Mother Teresa of Calcutta received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.
health problems and death
While visiting Pope John Paul II in Rome, Italy, in 1983, Teresa suffered her first heart attack. She would have another attack six years later, but that wasn’t what took her life.
Other health problems caused her to be proposed to leave the leadership of the Missionaries of Charity. However, the sisters who helped her asked her to continue working with the congregation. Even so, she ended up leaving the head of the group in March 1997 and passed away six months later.
His burial took place in Calcutta and millions of people attended the celebration, as well as heads of state and rulers of other nations.
The beatification and canonization of Mother Teresa
Soon after Mother Teresa’s death, on September 5, 1997, speculation began about a possible canonization of the nun. The first step in the process was choosing a postulator to guide the beatification process. The chosen one was the priest and theologian Brian Kolodiejchuck.
As postulator, the priest’s job was to prove that the candidate’s life had been heroic and also to validate the accomplishment of a miracle through the intervention of Mother Teresa’s name.
In 2002, the Vatican recognized the cure for cancer in the abdomen of Mônica Besra through the intervention of an image of Mother Teresa. According to Mônica, a light emanated from the nun’s figure and healed her tumor. Despite her statements, her husband and her doctors attributed the cure to conventional medical treatment.
According to Monica herself, her medical history was confiscated by nuns of the Missionaries of Charity. With the approval of the miracle by the Vatican, Mother Teresa was beatified on October 19, 2003.
Once blessed, to elevate Mother Teresa to the status of a saint only needed a miracle confirmed by her intervention. Father Kolodiejchuck’s work continued with the search for these accounts.
On December 17, 2015, Pope Francis recognized Mother Teresa’s second miracle: the cure of multiple brain tumors in a Brazilian in 2008. After confirmation by a medical board that the man’s recovery had no scientific explanation, the process it was advanced and a ceremony on September 4, 2016 confirmed the act, making Mother Teresa a saint.
“Blessed Teresa, Mother who promised to continually bring the light of love to those on earth! Pray for us who also want to satisfy the thirst of Jesus by loving him ardently, sharing his sufferings joyfully, and serving him from the bottom of our hearts, serving our brothers and sisters, especially those who are unloved or unloved.” (Translation and adaptation of “Prayer to Mother Teresa of Calcutta”)
“Keep your eyes pure so Jesus can look through them. Keep your tongue pure so Jesus can speak through your mouth. Keep your hands pure so Jesus can work with your hands. Keep your mind pure so Jesus can think your thoughts in your mind. Keep your heart pure so that Jesus can love with your heart. Ask Jesus to live his own life in you because: he is the truth of humility, he is the light of charity, he is the life of holiness. ” (Source: Canção Nova)
“I want to praise you Mother Teresa of Calcutta, for looking out for my family, my friends, relatives, colleagues at work, at school, on the road, for my beloved and for all those who need an urgent blessing. Your charity and goodness are so blessed that they purify my heart and soul Make me a faithful Christian, full of love to offer, just like you Mother Teresa, for I will be eternally grateful for that divine light Mother Teresa of Calcutta, look after me, that I may be worthy of your mercy. Amen!”