Today in our series of portraits on the women of CASA Mother Teresa the one who names our Dark Blue color.
“We live in the middle of a sea of poverty. Nevertheless, we can reduce this sea. Our work is only a drop in a bucket, but this drop is necessary. »
On August 27, 1910, in Skopje, Macedonia, Agnes Gonxha Bojaxiu was born, the woman who would later become known as Mother Teresa. She grew up in a Catholic family of Albanian origin and lost her father when she was only 8 years old. At a very young age, she was already thinking about becoming a missionary.
When she was 18, she joined the Irish religious order of the Sisters of Notre-Dame-de-Lorette and left for Dublin. There, she learned English and became a novice under the name Mary Teresa.
A year later, in January 1929, it was as a novice sister that Mary Theresa arrived in Calcutta, India. In 1931, she began teaching at the girls' school at the Loreto Entall convent before becoming principal in 1944. In the meantime, Mary Theresa had taken her final vows and was now Mother Teresa.
On September 10, 1946, during a train trip, she said she received a call from Jesus. The latter would have asked him to leave the convent in order to help the most deprived by going to live with them. It was only in 1948 that she obtained from the Pope the right to leave the convent. It was then that the figure of Mother Teresa that we know today was born. She wears her white sari bordered with blue and goes to live in a slum.
In October 1950, she established a new religious congregation. The Missionary Sisters of Charity differ from the others, because to the three vows (of poverty, chastity and obedience), they must follow a fourth, that of helping the poor. It is to respect this commitment that Mother Teresa and her congregation founded a school for young people from the slums, a home for the poor or even a hospice, in Calcutta, for the sick, in particular lepers, who are refused admission to hospitals.
The congregation grew as new nuns joined Mother Teresa and donations enabled them to continue their charitable works, well beyond the borders of India; notably in Venezuela, Italy and even in countries of the communist bloc.
It was on December 10, 1979, that Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for "her selfless work to help suffering humanity", her "respect for human beings" and "her compassion without condescension. . During her life, she received several other awards highlighting her commitment, including the Medal of Freedom, a high civilian honor in the United States.
Mother Teresa died on September 5, 1997, when she was 87 years old. His death was marked by a state funeral. His grave became a place of pilgrimage and the date of his death was chosen by the United Nations as a national day of charity.
But Mother Teresa is not a figure loved by everyone either. Although for many she represents peace, charity and self-sacrifice, others have criticized her way of managing congregational funds, accepting donations from questionable personalities, or even her very strict Catholic vision of suffering, as something that brings us closer to God and therefore that we must not eradicate, but accept.
Others reject the idealization of this figure of goodness because as a missionary, she follows a colonialist lineage, where helping is also a way of imposing her vision of the world and leaving non-Western countries in a relationship of dependence.
Nevertheless, in the Catholic world Mother Teresa is more than respected while following several stories of miraculous healing she was first beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2003 before being canonized on September 4, 2016.