On Sunday, 4 September 2016, the whole (not only Christian) world stopped for a while to watch the long-awaited event of the canonization of Mother Teresa. At a Roman Catholic canonization service held on the St. Peter’s Square in Vatican, in front of hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world, Pope Francis declared Mother Teresa a saint. There is no denying the fact that Mother Teresa was one of the most famous, respected, influential, and admired personalities of the 20th century, but to many people, she was known just as “a nun who helped the poor and sick.” It was her incredible charitable and missionary efforts that made her famous all over the world, but in fact, there are many more things about this inspirational woman that are worth remembering. To pay tribute to Mother Teresa, the latest Roman Catholic saint, we took a closer look at her remarkable life and compiled a list with some little known facts about this legendary nun and missionary. From interesting facts about her background and the miracles she is believed to have performed to her friendship with Princess Diana, here are 25 Fascinating Facts About Mother Teresa And Her Extraordinary Life.
Mother Teresa is also known as Saint Teresa of Calcutta, but her original name was Anjeze Gonxhe Bojaxhiu. The word “Anjeze” means "a little flower" in Albanian.
Mother Teresa was born on 26 August 1910, but she later considered 27 August, the day she was baptized, to be her "true birthday."
For most of her life, Mother Teresa helped the poor. However, contrary to some popular beliefs, she herself was not born into a poor family. Her family was financially secured and owned two houses.
Both of Mother Teresa's parents were Kosovo-Albanians, but she was born in Skopje, the current capital of Macedonia. Back in 1910, the city was a part of the Ottoman Empire.
Mother Teresa spent most of her life in India, where she arrived in 1929, aged 19. She once said, "By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, I am 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.”
Since her early childhood, Mother Teresa was fascinated by stories of the lives of missionaries and their service in India. By the age of 12, she become convinced that she should commit herself to a religious life.
Prior to her move to India, Mother Teresa left for Ireland to learn English in 1928 (aged 18). After that, she never saw her mother or her sisters again.
She took her first religious vows as a nun in 1931, when she chose to be named after Therese de Lisieux, the patron saint of missionaries, but because one nun in the convent had already chosen that name, she opted for the Spanish spelling of Teresa.
In 1946, Mother Teresa received what she would later describe as a “call within a call.” She said Jesus spoke to her and told her to abandon her teaching to work in the slums of Calcutta aiding the city's poorest and sickest people.
Four years later in 1950, she founded the Missionaries of Charity, a religious congregation, which in 2012 consisted of over 4,500 sisters and was active in 133 countries.
While teaching poor children in Calcutta, Mother Teresa did not have any equipment or supplies, yet she still managed to teach the children to read and write by writing in the dirt with wooden sticks.
If you feel inspired by Mother Teresa and her life, you may also want to check out 25 Inspirational Mother Teresa Quotes.