“If in coming face to face with God we accept Him in our lives, then we are converting. We become a better Hindu, a better Muslim, a better Catholic, a better whatever we are…
“What approach would I use? For me, naturally, it would be a Catholic one…What God is in your mind you must accept. But I cannot prevent myself from trying to give you what I have…”
Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu was born in Skopje, Albania (now Macedonia) between the Ilinden anti-Ottoman Uprising and the outbreak of the First World War.
At age 8, her father died. At 18, she moved to Ireland to join the Sisters of Loreto, with whom she began her monastic training in India the following year. Agnes chose the name Teresa, after Teresa of France, the patron saint of missionaries who died in 1897 at age 24.
Sister Teresa taught students at the Loreto convent school in Calcutta for several years. On September 10, 1946, on her annual retreat to Darjeeling, she felt the call of God, telling her to work not within the confines of the school, but among the sick and poor of the streets.
She exchanged her convent habit for a simple cotton chira, became an Indian citizen, and continued to help the poorest of the poor for nearly 50 years. She established the Missionaries of Charity in 1950 to help “the hungry, the naked, the homeless, the crippled, the blind, the lepers, all those people who feel unwanted, unloved, uncared for throughout society…”
The Missionaries currently operate over 600 missions in 123 countries.
I don’t think there is anyone else who needs God’s help and grace more than I do…I need His help twenty-four hours a day. And if days were longer, I would need even more of it.
Today, Mother Teresa’s homeland of Albania honors her with a national holiday. October 19 is the anniversary of the day in 2003 that she was beatified by the Vatican.
“Christ will not ask how much we did but how much love we put into what we did.”
“Do not imagine that love to be true must be extraordinary. No, what we need in our love is the continuity to love the One we love.”