St. Teresa of Calcutta
Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu was born on August 26, 1920 in Skopje. Her father died when she was only eight years old.
At the age of 18 she left home to join the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, known as the Sisters of Loreto, in Ireland. She took the name Sister Mary Teresa. In 1929 she left for a trip to India to do mission work. After taking her First Profession of Vows she taught at St. Mary’s school for girls in Calcutta.
She became the “spouse of Jesus” on May 24, 1937 when making her Final Profession of Vows.
She worked with St. Mary’s for 20 years. She was known there for her cheerful spirit and profound happiness.
During a 1946 train ride from Calcutta to Darjeeling she receives what she calls “a call within a call” to become what we now know as Mother Teresa. She said Jesus revealed to her the desire of His heart for “victims of love.”He revealed His pain for the poor and His longing for their love. He asked her to establish a religious order: The Missionaries of Charity.
She waited two years before gaining permission to begin her order. On December 21, she visited the slums for the first time.
On October 7, 1950 the new order of the Missionaries of Charity was officially established in the Archdiocese of Calcutta.
Beginning in 1980-1990’s Mother Teresa opened houses in almost all communist countries.
Despite being a known figure and living her life in complete service of others and God she suffered a dark interior life, marked by an experience of a deep, painful feeling of being separated from God, even rejected by Him, which she referred to as “the darkness.”
By 1997 Mother Teresa’s sisters were nearly 4,000 and were established in 123 countries of the world.
Mother Teresa died on September 5, 1997 and was canonized on September 4, 2016.
She is the patron saint of World Youth Day.