Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa (St. Teresa of Kolkata) (1910–1997) is a featured contributor to our book, The Power of Love, with her organization, the Missionaries of Charity.

Mother Teresa left her home in Albania at age eighteen to join the Sisters of Loreto. Three years later, in 1931, she went to Calcutta, India, to teach at St. Mary’s school for girls. She made her Final Profession of Vows in 1937, and became principal of the school in 1944.

On September 10, 1946 (“Inspiration Day”), Mother Teresa received what she called her “call within a call,” an inner dictation from Jesus to leave the convent and serve the “poorest of the poor.” Four years later, church leaders gave her permission to form a new society called Missionaries of Charity.  In a pioneering work of living among the poorest of the poor, the Missionaries of Charity established homes for the dying, the elderly, lepers, and orphans.

Mother Teresa was given numerous awards and honorary degrees, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.

Within thirty-one years of the start of her mission in 1948, her one-to-one-person method had reached millions, and the white sari with blue border had become a universal symbol of compassion.

When she died in 1997, the Missionaries of Charity were spread throughout the world: 4,000 members, 610 foundations in 123 countries, over a million lay workers on all seven continents.

In 2016, the Catholic Church canonized her as St. Teresa of Kolkata. The Missionaries of Charity have continued her legacy of loving selfless service, making their home among the poorest of the poor.

To learn more, visit the Mother Teresa of Calcutta Center website.